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EVIDENCE

First Batch

Reyes v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 96492, [November 26, 1992]

Juan Mendoza, father of herein defendant Olympio Mendoza, is the


owner of Farm.

Devoted to the production of palay, the lots were tenanted and


cultivated by Julian dela Cruz, husband of plaintiff Eufrocina dela
Cruz. Julian died on September 25, 1979.
Eufrocina alleged that upon the death of Julian, she succeeded him
as bona fide tenant of the subject lots;
Between July 7 to July 15, 1984, Olympio Mendoza, in conspiracy with
the other defendants, prevented her daughter Violeta and her
workers through force, intimidation, strategy and stealth, from entering
and working on the subject premises;

Defendants Reyes, Parayao, Aguinaldo and Mananghaya, duly


elected and/or appointed barangay officials of Bahay Pare, Candaba,
Pampanga, denied interference in the tenancy relationship existing
between plaintiff and defendant Mendoza, particularly in the cultivation of the
latter's farm lots.

Defendants who are the petitioners in this case, in a Petition for


Review on Certiorari, present for the consideration of the Court:
"[T]he lone issue of whether or not they can be held liable, jointly and
severally, with the other defendants, for the harvests of the litigated
property, Lot No. 46?

PETITIONERS:
Not liable jointly and severally with Olympio Mendoza and
Severino Aguinaldo because the present petition involves
Lot No. 46 and not Lot No. 106 of the same estate, which lot
was later donated to the Barangay Bahay Pare of Candaba,
Pampanga.
Resolution of Investigating Fiscal wherein private
respondent's complaint against petitioners and the other
defendants in the agrarian court for violation of P.D. 583 was
dismissed, to show that private respondent's "point is
already settled and considered closed.
PRIVATE RESPONDENTS:

Deny petitioners' allegations and contend that it was


petitioners who conspired with Olympio Mendoza and
Severino Aguinaldo in ejecting them not only from Lot No.
46 but also from Lot No. 106.
They maintain that it was in Farmlot No. 46 from where
they were ejected and dispossessed, private respondents,
who are entitled to the possession and peaceful enjoyment of the
farmlot as provided for in Section 23 of the Agrarian Reform
Law, should be compensated for the lost income by the
petitioners who are solidarily liable with Olympio Mendoza and
Severino Aguinaldo.

ISSUE: WON there is sufficient evidence evaluated by the trial court to


show that petitioners is liable severally with the other defendants?

RULING: YES
Petitioners are asking Us to re-examine all the evidence already
presented and evaluated by the trial court and re-evaluated again by
the respondent appellate court.

We shall not analyze such evidence all over again but instead put
finis to the factual findings in this case. Settled is the rule that only
questions of law may be raised in a petition for review
on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court absent the
exceptions which do not obtain in the instant case.

Trial court did not err when it favorably considered the affidavits
of Eufrocina and Efren Tecson (Annexes "B" and "C")
although the affiants were not presented and subjected to
cross-examination.
Section 16 of P.D. No. 946 provides that the 'Rules of Court shall
not be applicable in agrarian cases even in a suppletory
character.' The same provision states that 'In the hearing,
investigation and determination of any question or controversy,
affidavits and counter-affidavits may be allowed and are
admissible in evidence.'

In agrarian cases, the quantum of evidence required is no more


than substantial evidence. This substantial evidence rule was
incorporated in section 18, P.D. No. 946 which took effect on June 17,
1976. In Bagsican vs. Hon. Court of Appeals, 141 SCRA 226, the
Supreme Court defined what substantial evidence is:
'Substantial evidence does not necessarily import preponderant
evidence, as is required in an ordinary civil case. It has been defined
to be such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion and its absence is not
shown by stressing that there is contrary evidence on record, direct or
circumstantial, for the appellate court cannot substitute its own
judgment or criteria for that of the trial court in determining wherein
lies the weight of evidence or what evidence is entitled to belief.'

Ong Chia v. Republic, G.R. No. 127240, [March 27, 2000], 385 PHIL 487-499

PETITIONER ONG CHIA was born on January 1, 1923 in Amoy,


China. In 1932, he arrived at the port of Manila. Since then, he has
stayed in the Philippines where he found employment and eventually started
his own business, married a Filipina, with whom he had four children.

On July 4, 1989, at the age of 66, he filed a verified petition to be


admitted as a Filipino citizen under C.A. No. 473, otherwise known as
the Revised Naturalization Law, as amended.

During the hearings, petitioner testified as to his qualifications and


presented three witnesses to corroborate his testimony.

Prosecutor Isaac Alvero V. Moran with the testimony: Actually, Your


Honor, with the testimony of the petitioner himself which is rather surprising,
in the sense that he seems to be well-versed with the major portion of the
history of the Philippines, so, on our part, we are convinced, Your Honor
Please, that petitioner really deserves to be admitted as a citizen of the
Philippines. And for this reason, we do not wish to present any
evidence to counteract or refute the testimony of the witnesses for
the petitioner, as well as the petitioner himself.

On August 25, 1999, the trial court granted the petition and admitted
petitioner to Philippine citizenship.

The State, however, through the Office of the Solicitor General, appealed
contending that petitioner:
(1) failed to state all the names by which he is or had been known;
(2) failed to state all his former places of residence in violation of C.A. No. 473,
7;
(3) failed to conduct himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during
his entire stay in the Philippines, in violation of 2;
(4) has no known lucrative trade or occupation and his previous incomes have
been insufficient or misdeclared, also in contravention of 2; and
(5) failed to support his petition with the appropriate documentary evidence.
To wit:
a copy of a 1977 petition for naturalization filed by petitioner with the
Special Committee on Naturalization in which petitioner stated that in
addition to his name of "Ong Chia," he had likewise been known since
childhood as "Loreto Chia Ong.

income tax returns allegedly filed by petitioner from 1973 to 1977 to


show that his net income could hardly support himself and his
family.

petitioner actually lived with his wife without the benefit of


marriage from 1953 until they were married in 1977. This,
according to the State, belies his claim that when he started living with
his wife in 1953, they had already been married.
as shown by petitioner's Immigrant Certificate of Residence, petitioner
resided at "J.M. Basa Street, Iloilo," but he did not include
said address in his petition.
PETITIONER:
the documents which had merely been annexed by the State to its
appellant's brief and, on the basis of which, justified the reversal of the trial
court's decision. Not having been presented and formally offered as
evidence, they are mere "scrap(s) of paper devoid of any evidentiary value,"

ISSUE: WON the evidence annexed by the OSG to the appellants brief need
to be presented and formally offered?

RULING: NO

The rule on formal offer of evidence (Rule 132, 34) now being invoked by
petitioner is clearly not applicable to the present case involving a
petition for naturalization.
EXCEPTION: "practicable and convenient."
That is not the case here, since reliance upon the documents presented
by the State for the first time on appeal, in fact, appears to be the
more practical and convenient course of action considering that
decisions in naturalization proceedings are not covered by the rule on res
judicata.
Consequently, a final favorable judgment does not preclude the State
from later on moving for a revocation of the grant of naturalization on
the basis of the same documents.

ANALYSIS:

Rule 143 of the Rules of Court which provides that


These rules shall not apply to land registration, cadastral and election
cases, naturalization and insolvency proceedings, and other cases not
herein provided for, except by analogy or in a suppletory character and
whenever practicable and convenient.

The reason for the rule prohibiting the admission of evidence which
has not been formally offered is to afford the opposite party the chance to
object to their admissibility. Petitioner cannot claim that he was deprived
of the right to object to the authenticity of the documents submitted to the
appellate court by the State. He could have included his objections, as he, in
fact, did, in the brief he filed with the Court of Appeals.

The Court notes that these documents namely, the petition in SCN Case No.
031767, petitioner's marriage contract, the joint affidavit executed by him and
his wife, and petitioner's income tax returns are all public documents.
As such, they have been executed under oath. They are thus reliable. Since
petitioner failed to make a satisfactory showing of any flaw or irregularity that
may cast doubt on the authenticity of these documents, it is our conclusion
that the appellate court did not err in relying upon them.

It is settled, however, that naturalization laws should be rigidly


enforced and strictly construed in favor of the government and
against the applicant. As noted by the State, C.A. No. 473, 7 clearly
provides that the applicant for naturalization shall set forth in the petition
his present and former places of residence. This provision and the rule
of strict application of the law in naturalization cases defeat petitioner's
argument of "substantial compliance" with the requirement under the Revised
Naturalization Law. On this ground alone, the instant petition ought to be
denied.

Bantolino v. Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils., G.R. No. 153660, [June 10, 2003], 451
PHIL 839-848

On 15 February 1995 sixty-two (62) employees of respondent Coca-Cola


Bottlers, Inc., and its officers filed a complaint against respondents
for unfair labor practice through illegal dismissal, violation of their
security of tenure and the perpetuation of the "Cabo System." They thus
prayed for reinstatement with full back wages, and the declaration of
their regular employment status.

In substance, the complainants averred that in the performance of their duties


as route helpers, bottle segregators, and others, they were employees
of respondent Coca-Cola Bottlers, Inc. They further maintained that when
respondent company replaced them and prevented them from entering
the company premises, they were deemed to have been illegally dismissed.

The Labor Arbiter ordered respondent to reinstate complainants to their


former positions and to pay their full back wages.

On appeal, the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) sustained the


finding of the Labor Arbiter.
Respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA) which affirmed the
finding of the NLRC, but agreed with the respondent that the
affidavits of some of the complainants should not have been given
probative value for failure to affirm the contents thereof and to
undergo cross-examination.

As a consequence, the appellate court dismissed their complaints for lack of


sufficient evidence.

ISSUE: WON, in labor case, it is the proper in giving evidentiary value to the
affidavits despite the failure of the affiants to affirm their contents and
undergo the test of cross-examination

RULING: YES

The argument that the affidavit is hearsay because the affiants were not
presented for cross-examination is not persuasive because the rules of
evidence are not strictly observed in proceedings before
administrative bodies like the NLRC where decisions may be reached on
the basis of position papers only."

Administrative bodies like the NLRC are not bound by the technical niceties of
law and procedure and the rules obtaining in courts of law. Indeed, the
Revised Rules of Court and prevailing jurisprudence may be given
only stringent application, i.e., by analogy or in a suppletory
character and effect. The submission by respondent, citing People v. Sorrel,
that an affidavit not testified to in a trial, is mere hearsay evidence and has no
real evidentiary value, cannot find relevance in the present case considering
that a criminal prosecution requires a quantum of evidence
different from that of an administrative proceeding. Under the Rules
of the Commission, the Labor Arbiter is given the discretion to determine the
necessity of a formal trial or hearing. Hence, trial-type hearings are not
even required as the cases may be decided based on verified position
papers, with supporting documents and their affidavits.

Cirtek Employees Labor Union-FFW v. Cirtek Electronics, Inc., G.R. No.


190515, [June 6, 2011], 665 PHIL 784-795

This resolves the motion for reconsideration and supplemental motion for
reconsideration filed by respondent, Cirtek Electronics, Inc., of the Court's
Decision dated November 15, 2010.

Respondent-movant avers:
that petitioner, in filing the petition for certiorari under Rule 65,
availed of the wrong remedy, hence, the Court should have
dismissed the petition outright. It goes on to aver that the Court
erred in resolving a factual issue whether the August 24, 2005
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was validly entered into , which
is not the office of a petition for certiorari.
Respondent-movant further avers that the MOA 1 signed by the
remaining officers of petitioner Union and allegedly ratified by its
members should have been given credence by the Court.
respondent-movant maintains that the Secretary of Labor cannot
insist on a ruling beyond the compromise agreement entered
into by the parties;

ISSUE:

1. whether the Secretary of Labor is empowered to give arbitral awards in


the exercise of his authority to assume jurisdiction over labor disputes.
2. whether the August 24, 2005 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was
validly entered into , which is not the office of a petition for certiorari.

RULING:

1. YES
While an arbitral award cannot per se be categorized as an agreement
voluntarily entered into by the parties because it requires the interference and
imposing power of the State thru the Secretary of Labor when he assumes
jurisdiction, the award can be considered as an approximation of a
collective bargaining agreement which would otherwise have been
entered into by the parties. Hence, it has the force and effect of a
valid contract obligation between the parties.

The appellate court's ruling that giving credence to the "Pahayag" and the
minutes of the meeting which were not verified and notarized would violate
the rule on parol evidence is erroneous. The parol evidence rule, like
other rules on evidence, should not be strictly applied in labor
cases. Interphil Laboratories Employees Union-FFW v. Interphil
Laboratories, Inc. teaches:
[R]eliance on the parol evidence rule is misplaced. In
labor cases pending before the Commission or the Labor
Arbiter, the rules of evidence prevailing in courts of
law or equity are not controlling. Rules of procedure and
evidence are not applied in a very rigid and technical sense in
labor cases. Hence, the Labor Arbiter is not precluded from
accepting and evaluating evidence other than, and even
contrary to, what is stated in the CBA. (emphasis and
underscoring supplied)

2. YES, although question of facts, SC applying exception


The findings of the Secretary of Labor and the appellate court on
whether the MOA is valid and binding are conflicting, the former giving
scant consideration thereon, and the latter affording it more weight.
The question of validity of the MOA and its ratification which, as movant
correctly points out, is a question of fact and one which is not appropriate
for a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. The rule, however, is not
without exceptions(see below).

ANALYSIS:

Respecting the attribution of error to the Court in ruling on a question of fact,


it bears recalling that a QUESTION OF FACT arises when the doubt or
difference arises as to the truth or falsehood of alleged fact, 3 while
a QUESTION OF LAW exists when the doubt or difference arises as to
what the law is on a certain set of facts.

A question of fact and one which is not appropriate for a petition for review
on certiorari under Rule 45. The rule, however, is not without
exceptions, viz.: SaCIDT
This rule provides that the parties may raise only questions of
law, because the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts.
Generally, we are not duty-bound to analyze again and weigh
the evidence introduced in and considered by the tribunals
below. When supported by substantial evidence, the
findings of fact of the CA are conclusive and binding
on the parties and are not reviewable by this Court,
unless the case falls under any of the
following recognized exceptions:
(1)When the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely
on speculation, surmises and conjectures;
(2)When the inference made is manifestly mistaken,
absurd or impossible;
(3)Where there is a grave abuse of discretion;
(4)When the judgment is based on a
misapprehension of facts;
(5)When the findings of fact are conflicting;
(6)When the Court of Appeals, in making its findings,
went beyond the issues of the case and the same is
contrary to the admissions of both appellant and
appellee;
(7)When the findings are contrary to those of
the trial court;
(8)When the findings of fact are conclusions without
citation of specific evidence on which they are based;
(9)When the facts set forth in the petition as well as in
the petitioners' main and reply briefs are not disputed
by the respondents; and
(10)When the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals
are premised on the supposed absence of evidence and
contradicted by the evidence on record. (emphasis and
underscoring supplied)

Atienza v. Board of Medicine, G.R. No. 177407, [February 9, 2011]

Due to her lumbar pains, private respondent Editha Sioson went to Rizal
Medical Center (RMC) for check-up. The tests revealed that her right kidney
is normal. It was ascertained, however, that her left kidney is non-
functioning and non-visualizing. Thus, she underwent kidney
operation in September, 1999.

On February 18, 2000, private respondent's husband, Romeo Sioson (as


complainant), filed a complaint for gross negligence and/or
incompetence before the [BOM] against the doctors who allegedly
participated in the fateful kidney operation,

It was alleged in the complaint that the said doctors, including


petitioner, consists of the removal of private respondent's fully
functional right kidney, instead of the left non-functioning
and non-visualizing kidney.

Attached to the formal offer of documentary evidence are her Exhibits


"A" to "D," which she offered for the purpose of proving that her
kidneys were both in their proper anatomical locations at the
time she was operated.

PETITIONER ATIENZA:

Petitioner argues that the exhibits formally offered in evidence by


Editha:

(1) violate the best evidence rule because the same are mere
photocopies;

(2) have not been properly identified and authenticated;

(3) are completely hearsay; and

(4) are incompetent to prove their purpose.

ISSUE: WON these exhibits are admissible?


RULING: YES

Rules of evidence are not strictly applied in proceedings before


administrative bodies such as the BOM. 6 Although trial courts are
enjoined to observe strict enforcement of the rules of evidence, 7 in
connection with evidence which may appear to be of doubtful relevancy,
incompetency, or admissibility.

The fact sought to be established by the admission of Editha's exhibits,


that her "kidneys were both in their proper anatomical locations at the time"
of her operation, need not be proved as it is covered by mandatory
judicial notice.

As pointed out by the appellate court, the admission of the exhibits did not
prejudice the substantive rights of petitioner because, at any rate, the fact
sought to be proved thereby, that the two kidneys of Editha were in their
proper anatomical locations at the time she was operated on, is presumed
under Section 3, Rule 131 of the Rules of Court:

Sec. 3. Disputable presumptions. The following


presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted, but may be
contradicted and overcome by other evidence:

xxx xxx xxx

(y) That things have happened according to the ordinary


course of nature and the ordinary habits of life.

On Best Evidence Rule:


As previously discussed, the proper anatomical locations of Editha's kidneys at
the time of her operation at the RMC may be established not only
through the exhibits offered in evidence.

The introduction of secondary evidence, such as copies of the exhibits,


is allowed. Witness Dr. Nancy Aquino testified that the Records Office of
RMC no longer had the originals of the exhibits "because [it]
transferred from the previous building, . . . to the new
building." Ultimately, since the originals cannot be produced, the BOM
properly admitted Editha's formal offer of evidence and, thereafter, the BOM
shall determine the probative value thereof when it decides the case.

ANALYSIS:

Admissibility of evidence refers to the question of whether or not the


circumstance (or evidence) is to be considered at all. On the other
hand, the probative value of evidence refers to the question of whether or
not it proves an issue.

Some facts which are established and need not be proved, such as those
covered by judicial notice, both mandatory and discretionary. Laws
of nature involving the physical sciences, specifically biology, include the
structural make-up and composition of living things such as human beings. In
this case, we may take judicial notice that Editha's kidneys before,
and at the time of, her operation, as with most human beings, were
in their proper anatomical locations.

Section 3 of Rule 130 provides:

1. Best Evidence Rule

Sec. 3. Original document must be produced; exceptions.


When the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no
evidence shall be admissible other than the original document
itself, EXCEPT in the following cases:

(a) When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be


produced in court, without bad faith on the part of the offeror;

(b) When the original is in the custody or under the control of


the party against whom the evidence is offered, and the latter
fails to produce it after reasonable notice;

(c) When the original consists of numerous accounts or other


documents which cannot be examined in court without great
loss of time and the fact sought to be established from them is
only the general result of the whole; and CAIaDT

(d) When the original is a public record in the custody of a


public officer or is recorded in a public office.

Amora v. People, G.R. No. 154466, [January 28, 2008], 566 PHIL 472-481

On June 27, 1993, a fire broke out in the building used by petitioner as
residence and as a bakery. The fire also gutted nearby houses.

Adelfa's father had earlier entered into a contract of lease with petitioner,
whereby the latter was to use the lot and erect a building thereon for a
monthly rental of P50.00, for a period of twenty (20) years. The lease contract
provided that, upon the expiration of the contract on July 10, 1993,
ownership over the building shall be transferred to the lessor.
On January 4, 1993, Adelfa informed petitioner that she would no longer
renew the contract of lease.

On January 14, 1993, petitioner secured a fire insurance coverage over


the subject building from the Malayan Insurance Company for P150,000.00,
then obtained another fire insurance policy from Makati Insurance
Company for P300,000.00. It appears that the amounts of insurance coverage
were substantially higher than the building's market value

During the actual fire, petitioner was within the premises, heard
shouts from his neighbor, ignored the same at first, and only later
on did he finally stand up to see what was going on.

Investigation Report which concluded with the finding that: "(B)ased on


the testimonies of witnesses available and after a meticulous study of the fire
incident, the investigation concludes that the cause of fire was
intentionally done."

Petitioner was charged with the crime of Destructive Arson, in an


Information.

ISSUE: whether the guilt of petitioner was proven beyond reasonable doubt.

RULING: YES

The trial court found that the circumstances enumerated above sufficiently
point to the petitioner as the author of the crime. Indeed, all these
circumstances, taken together, are consistent with the hypothesis
that petitioner is guilty, and at the same time inconsistent with the
hypothesis that he is innocent.

We find no cogent reason to disturb the findings of the trial court as affirmed
by the appellate court. Case law states that findings of facts of the trial
court, especially if affirmed by the appellate court, are given great
respect, if not conclusive effect, by this Court unless the trial court ignored,
misunderstood or misinterpreted facts and circumstances of substance which,
if considered, would alter the outcome of the case.

It is clear that the place of the commission of the crime was a residential and
commercial building located in an urban and populated area. This qualifying
circumstance places the offense squarely within the ambit of Section 2 (7)
of P.D. 1613, and converts it to "destructive arson," 7 viz.:

Section 2. Destructive Arson. The penalty of Reclusion


Temporal in its maximum period to Reclusion Perpetua shall
be imposed if the property burned is any of the
following: TIDHCc

xxx xxx xxx


7. Any building, whether used as a dwelling or not, situated in a populated or
congested area.

Section 6 of P.D. 1613:

Section 6. Prima facie evidence of Arson. Any of the following


circumstances shall constitute prima facie evidence of arson:

xxx xxx xxx

4. If the building or property is insured for


substantially more than its actual value at
the time of the issuance of the policy.

ANALYSIS:

Direct evidence is not the sole means of establishing guilt beyond


reasonable doubt. 8Established facts that form a chain of circumstances
can lead the mind intuitively or impel a conscious process of reasoning
towards a conviction. Indeed, rules on evidence and principles in
jurisprudence have long recognized that the accused may be convicted
through circumstantial evidence.

Circumstantial evidence has been defined as such evidence which


goes to prove a fact or series of facts, other than the facts in issue,
which, if proved, may tend by inference to establish the fact in
issue. Circumstantial evidence may be resorted to when to insist on direct
testimony would ultimately lead to setting felons free.

But for circumstantial evidence to be sufficient for a conviction, the


following requisites must be present, namely:
(a) there is more than one circumstances;
(b) the facts from which the inferences are derived have been proven; and
(c) the combination of all the circumstances results in a moral
certainty that the accused, to the exclusion of all others, is the one who has
committed the crime.

People v. Ochate, G.R. No. 127154, [July 30, 2002], 434 PHIL 575-587

Around 5:15 in the afternoon of September 26, 1994, VICTIM Rowena


Albiso and her older brother Roseller were walking together on
their way home from school. Upon reaching the house of
the barangay captain, Rowena stopped and went to the communal
water pump to wash her food container and her slippers.

Roseller went home ahead of her sister. On his way home, he passed by
the hut of accused Roldan Ochate where he saw the latter in the yard
tucking a scythe on his waist.
The family couldnt find Rowena so they proceeded to report the incident
to barangay.

The search was conducted the whole evening of September 26, 1994 to no
avail.

It was only around eight o'clock the following morning that the group found
Rowena in a ricefield about fifty meters from Ochate's house. She was
already dead cause by deep and penetrating incised wounds in the
neck and abdomen.

Police officers as well as other members of the barangay went to see Ochate at
his house but they were not able to find him. It was only on September 29,
1994 that a certain Bienvenido Pantallano, a member of the CAFGU,
was able to locate Ochate and he took Ochate in his custody and
brought him to the Chief of Police of Tampilisan.

On January 9, 1995, an Information for Rape with Homicide of


ROWENA (8 YEARS OLD) was filed against Ochate.

ISSUES:

1. WON the Circumstantial Evidence presented is sufficient for the


conviction of the crime?

2. WON VERBAL ADMISSIONS ALLEGEDLY MADE DURING


CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION IS ADMISSIBLE?

RULING:

1. NO

mere suspicion, no matter how strong it may be, is not sufficient to


sustain conviction. Law and jurisprudence demand proof beyond reasonable
doubt before any person may be deprived of his life, liberty, or even property.

In his testimony, Crisanto Montano admitted that accused-appellant was


considered a suspect because he did not join the search for the missing
girl. Appellant testified that he did not participate in the search because he
was busy drying copra. It cannot be contradicted that such passive
reaction is susceptible to different interpretations. Indeed, it may be
construed as an indication of guilt; but, it may also be interpreted as mere
indifference or even downright insensibility.

No evidence presented to show that appellant was seen with her. At


best, it is mere conjecture or speculation which the Court will not
subscribe to.

Doubtless, accused-appellant's defenses of alibi and denial are weak.


Nevertheless, it is a settled principle in criminal law that a finding of guilt
must rest on the strength of the prosecution's own evidence and
not on the weakness or absence of evidence for the defense.

2. NO, it must in a presence of a counsel


His confessions to Bienvenido Pantallano(CAFGU), Dr. Henry Cawley(NBI),
and before the barangay captain may not be used in evidence against him
as they are in violation of his constitutional right to remain silent and to
counsel while under custodial investigation.
While it is true that the barangay captain is not a police officer or a law
enforcement agent, it is clear from the records that he asked his question
in the course of police interrogation without the accused-appellant
being informed of his rights under the constitution. In People vs. Morada,
this Court held that the confession made by the accused-appellant to
the barangay captain is inadmissible because it appeared that the
conversation between the two was part of the then ongoing police
investigation.

ANALYSIS:

Requisites to sustain a conviction of an accused based on circumstantial


evidence are:
(1) there must be more than one circumstance;
(2) the inference must be based on proven facts; and
(3) the combination of all circumstances produces a conviction beyond
reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused.

Four basic guidelines in appreciation of this evidence:


(1) it should be acted upon with caution;
(2) all the essential facts must be consistent with the hypothesis of guilt;
(3) the facts must exclude every other theory but that of guilt; and
(4) the facts must establish such a certainty of guilt of the accused as to
convince the judgment beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is the one
who committed the offense.

Custodial investigation, as defined in Miranda vs. Arizona 28 is any


questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person
has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action
in any significant way.

LOPEZ v. HEESEN, 365 P.2d 448 (1961)


October 14, 1958, appellee, Heesen, an Air Force officer, purchased a J.C.
Higgins Model 51, 30.06 rifle from the store of appellee, Sears. Heesen,
although experienced in hunting, was not familiar with the Higgins Model 51
and had never used such a rifle. The safety mechanism on the rifle is what is
known as a "Class 1" safety, meaning that it interrupts the firing pin directly.

Immediately after the purchase of the rifle, Heesen left for a deer hunting trip
in an area known as Ute Park near the town of Eagle Nest in Colfax County.

At about this time, appellant, Jesse G. Lopez, was sitting next to a tree
about fifty yards away from the point where Heesen's gun subsequently
discharged.

Heesen wanted to cross the log to see the deer better, and as he stepped across
the log his left foot caught on a little limb sticking out and caused him to
stumble. His left foot went down hard on the ground on one side of
the log and his right foot slipped on the grass. This brought the gun
down and the gun discharged, the bullet striking appellant. Heesen
testified that he had his hand at least six inches away from the trigger when
the gun discharged. Immediately after the gun discharged he observed that
the gun was on "fire" position.

Appellee, Sears, introduced testimony of witnesses who were either


experts in the small arms field or experts in gun designing. The
witness, Paul A. La Violette, Jr., testified that he is a gun designer employed
by High Standard Manufacturing Company who manufacture the Higgins
Model 51 for Sears. He also testified extensively as to the advantages of the
safety device of the Higgins Model 51 and stated that six different makes of
guns have the same modified leaf safety device as does the Higgins
Model 51. The manufacturers of these guns are F.N. Mauser, Colt, Marlin,
Nato and Weatherby.

APPELLANTS LOPEZ:

trial court committed error in permitting testimony as to the


general reputation of other firearms companies who use the
same modified leaf safety device as the Higgins Model 51.

that the Higgins Model 51 rifle was in a dangerous and


defective condition due to its negligent manufacture, design,
assembly or maintenance, in that the safety mechanism thereof moved
readily and in a dangerous manner from "safe" to "fire"
position.

ISSUE:

WON the testimony as to the reputation of the manufacturer of the safety


device and other rifle manufacturer using the same safety device is relevant?
RULING: YES

the testimony as to the reputation of Fabrique Nationale, who manufacture


the safety device on the Higgins Model 51, and the reputation of Marlin
Firearms Company, Weatherby Corporation, Colt Firearms Company and
Jefferson Corporation, who manufacture rifles which have the same modified
leaf safety device as the Higgins Model 51, was relevant to the issue of
whether the safety device on the Higgins Model 51 was unsafe or
safe, and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting this
testimony.

The tendency of modern decisions is not only to give as wide a scope as is


reasonably possible to the investigation of such questions, but also to accord
to the trial judge a certain discretion in determining what
testimony has a tendency to establish the ultimate facts, and to
disturb his decision admitting testimony of that character only when it plainly
appears that the testimony had no legitimate bearing upon the questions at
issue and was calculated to prejudice the minds of the jurors.

People vs Bongcarawan, GR No. 143944, July 11, 2002

(shabu possession; forcibly searched by security officer; VALID)

Accused Basher Bongcarawan y Macarambon was charged in an Information


which reads, thus: cEaSHC

"That on or about March 13, 1999, in the City of Iligan,


Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Court, the said accused, without authority of law, did then and
there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have in his
possession, custody and control eight (8) packs of
Methamphetamine Hydrochloride, a regulated drug
commonly known as Shabu, weighing approximately
400 grams, without the corresponding license or
prescription.

Contrary to and in violation of Section 16, Article III of RA 6425,


otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended by
RA 7659."

On March 11, 1999, an interisland passenger ship, M/V Super Ferry 5, sailed
from Manila to Iligan City. At about 3:00 a.m. on March 13, 1999, the vessel
was about to dock at the port of Iligan City when its security officer, Mark
Diesmo, received a complaint from passenger Lorena Canoy about
her missing jewelry. Canoy suspected one of her co-passengers at cabin no.
106 as the culprit. The suspect was identified as the accused, Basher
Bongcarawan.

He was then escorted by two (2) security agents back to the economy section
to get his baggage. The accused took a Samsonite suitcase and brought this
back to the cabin. When requested by the security, the accused opened the
suitcase, revealing a brown bag and small plastic packs containing white
crystalline substance. Suspecting the substance to be "shabu," the
security personnel immediately reported the matter to the ship captain and
took pictures of the accused beside the suitcase and its contents. They also
called the Philippine Coast Guard for assistance.

The accused and the seized items were later turned over by the coast
guard to the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force
(PAOCTF).

NBI Forensic later confirmed the substance to be


methamphetamine hydrochloride, commonly known as "shabu,"
weighing 399.3266 grams.

Accused Bongcarawans version:


He was requested by Alican "Alex" Macapudi to bring a Samsonite
suitcase containing sunglasses and watches to Iligan City, and to give it
to Macapudi's brother at the Iligan port. He boarded with three bags:
big luggage full of clothes
a small luggage or "maleta" containing the sunglasses and brushes he
bought from Manila
Samsonite suitcase of Macapudi.

When requested, he voluntarily opened the big luggage, but refused to do the
same to the Samsonite suitcase which he claimed was not his and had a
secret combination lock.

Trial Court Decision:

GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt as principal of the


offense of violation of Section 16, Art. III, R.A. No. 6425 as
amended by R.A. No. 7659 and hereby imposes upon him the
penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA and a fine of FIVE
HUNDRED THOUSAND (P500,000.00) PESOS,
without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.

Accused Bongcarawan appealed:

The suitcase was forcibly opened and searched without his consent,
and hence, in violation of his constitutional right against
unreasonable search and seizure. Any evidence acquired pursuant to
such unlawful search and seizure, he claims, is inadmissible in evidence
against him. He also contends that People v. Marti is not applicable in this
case because a vessel security personnel is deemed to perform the
duties of a policeman.

Issue: WON the evidence is admissible when it was searched forcibly by a


vessel security personnel?
Ruling: Yes, admissible

In the case before us, the baggage of the accused-appellant was searched by
the vessel security personnel. The search and seizure of the suitcase and
the contraband items was therefore carried out without government
intervention, and hence, the constitutional protection against unreasonable
search and seizure does not apply.

In this case, the accused-appellant admits that when he was asked to get his
baggage, he knew it would be inspected. Why he got the Samsonite
suitcase allegedly not owned by him and which had a combination lock known
only to the owner remains unclear. He also claims that he did not present his
small "maleta" for inspection for fear that its contents consisting of expensive
sunglasses and brushes would be confiscated, but he brought the
Samsonite suitcase which is not his and also contained expensive
sunglasses, and even watches.

Analysis:

The right against unreasonable search and seizure is a fundamental


right protected by the Constitution. Evidence acquired in violation of
this right shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.
Whenever this right is challenged, an individual may choose between
invoking the constitutional protection or waiving his right by giving
consent to the search and seizure. It should be stressed, however, that
protection is against transgression committed by the government or its
agent. As held by this Court in the case of People v. Marti, "[i]n the absence
of governmental interference, liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot
be invoked against the State." The constitutional proscription against
unlawful searches and seizures applies as a restraint directed only against
the government and its agencies tasked with the enforcement of
the law.

There is no merit in the contention of the accused-appellant that the search


and seizure performed by the vessel security personnel should be considered
as one conducted by the police authorities for like the latter, the former are
armed and tasked to maintain peace and order. The vessel security officer
in the case at bar is a private employee and does not discharge any
governmental function. In contrast, police officers are agents of the state
tasked with the sovereign function of enforcement of the law.

In a prosecution for illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the following


facts must be proven beyond reasonable doubt,
(1) that the accused is in possession of the object identified as a prohibited or a
regulated drug;
(2) that such possession is not authorized by law; and
(3) that the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug.

As early as 1910 in the case of United States v. Tan Misa, this Court has ruled
that to warrant conviction, the possession of dangerous drugs must be with
knowledge of the accused, or that animus possidendi existed together
with the possession or control of such articles. It has been ruled, however,
that possession of dangerous drugs constitutes prima
facie evidence of knowledge oranimus possidendi sufficient to convict an
accused in the absence of a satisfactory explanation of such
possession. Hence, the burden of evidence is shifted to the accused to
explain the absence of knowledge or animus possidendi.

The things in possession of a person are presumed by law to be


owned by him. To overcome this presumption, it is necessary to present
clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. In this case, the accused
points to a certain Alican "Alex" Macapudi as the owner of the contraband, but
presented no evidence to support his claim.

ZULUETA vs. COURT OF APPEALS, [G.R. No. 107383. February20,


1996, 253 SCRA 565(?)

Petitioner Cecilia Zulueta is the wife of private respondent Alfredo Martin.

On March 26, 1982, petitioner entered the clinic of her husband, a doctor
of medicine, and forcibly opened the drawers and cabinet in her husbands
clinic and took 157 documents consisting of private correspondence
between Dr. Martin and his alleged paramours, greetings cards, cancelled
checks, diaries, Dr. Martins passport, and photographs.

The documents and papers were seized for use in evidence in a case for
legal separation and for disqualification from the practice of medicine
which petitioner had filed against her husband.

Dr. Martin brought this action below for recovery of the documents and papers
and for damages against petitioner.

ISSUE: WON these evidences were admissible?

RULING: NO

The constitutional injunction declaring the privacy of communication and


correspondence [to be] inviolable 3 is no less applicable simply because it
is the wife (who thinks herself aggrieved by her husbands infidelity) who
is the party against whom the constitutional provision is to be enforced.
The only exception to the prohibition in the Constitution is if there is a lawful
order [from a] court or when public safety or order requires otherwise, as
prescribed by law.4 Any violation of this provision renders the evidence
obtained inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

A person, by contracting marriage, does not shed his/her integrity or his right
to privacy as an individual and the constitutional protection is ever available to
him or to her.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs ANDRE MARTI, G.R. No. 81561,


January 18, 1991, 193 SCRA 57

The appellant and his common-law wife, Shirley Reyes, went to a


forwarder carrying with them four (4) gift wrapped packages.

Anita Reyes (the proprietress and no relation to Shirley Reyes)


attended to them. The appellant informed Anita Reyes that he was sending
the packages to a friend in Zurich, Switzerland.

Anita Reyes then asked the appellant if she could examine and inspect the
packages. Appellant, however, refused, assuring her that the
packages simply contained books, cigars, and gloves and were gifts
to his friend in Zurich.

Before delivery of appellant's box to the Bureau of Customs and/or Bureau of


Posts, Mr. Job Reyes (proprietor) and husband of Anita (Reyes),
following standard operating procedure, opened the boxes for final
inspection. When he opened appellant's box, a peculiar odor emitted
therefrom. His curiousity aroused, he squeezed one of the bundles allegedly
containing gloves and felt dried leaves inside. Opening one of the bundles, he
pulled out a cellophane wrapper protruding from the opening of one of
the gloves. He made an opening on one of the cellophane wrappers and took
several grams of the contents thereof

Job Reyes forthwith prepared a letter reporting the shipment to the NBI
and requesting a laboratory examination of the samples he extracted from
the cellophane wrapper

The package which allegedly contained books was likewise opened by Job
Reyes. He discovered that the package contained bricks or cake-like
dried marijuana leaves. The package which allegedly contained tabacalera
cigars was also opened. It turned out that dried marijuana leaves were neatly
stocked underneath the cigars

Thereafter, an Information was filed against appellant for violation of RA


6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act.

ISSUE: WON an act of a private individual, allegedly in violation of


appellant's constitutional rights, be invoked against the State?

RULING: NO, does not apply to private individual


Records of the case clearly indicate that it was Mr. Job Reyes, the
proprietor of the forwarding agency, who made search/inspection
of the packages. Said inspection was reasonable and a standard operating
procedure on the part of Mr. Reyes as a precautionary measure before delivery
of packages to the Bureau of Customs or the Bureau of Posts

Mere presence of the NBI agents did not convert the reasonable
search effected by Reyes into a warrantless search and seizure
proscribed by the Constitution. Merely to observe and look at that which
is in plain sight is not a search. Having observed that which is open, where no
trespass has been committed in aid thereof, is not search

ANALYSIS:
in Villanueva v. Querubin (48 SCRA 345 [1972]:

1. This constitutional right (against unreasonable search and


seizure) refers to the immunity of one's person, whether citizen or
alien, from interference by government, included in which is his
residence, his papers, and other possessions. . . .

. . . There the state, however powerful, does not as such have the access
except under the circumstances above noted, for in the traditional
formulation, his house, however humble, is his castle. Thus is outlawed
any unwarranted intrusion by government, which is called upon to
refrain from any invasion of his dwelling and to respect the privacies
of his life

The protection of fundamental liberties in the essence of constitutional


democracy. Protection against whom? Protection against the state. The Bill
of Rights governs the relationship between the individual and the
state. Its concern is not the relation between individuals, between a private
individual and other individuals. What the Bill of Rights does is to declare
some forbidden zones in the private sphere inaccessible to any power holder.

Evidence to be believed, must not only proceed from the mouth of a credible
witness, but it must be credible in itself such as the common experience and
observation of mankind can approve as probable under the circumstances

further show, appellant did not even bother to ask Michael's full name, his
complete address or passport number. Furthermore, if indeed, the German
national was the owner of the merchandise, appellant should have so
indicated in the contract of shipment (Exh. "B", Original Records, p. 40). On
the contrary, appellant signed the contract as the owner and shipper thereof
giving more weight to the presumption that things which a person possesses,
or exercises acts of ownership over, are owned by him (Sec. 5 [j], Rule 131). At
this point, appellant is therefore estopped to claim otherwise.
People v. Ayangao y Batong-Og, G.R. No. 142356, [April 14, 2004],
471 PHIL 379-394

Two weeks before August 13, 1999, PO3 Bienvenido Sagum and PO3
Nestor A. Galvez, members of the Criminal Detection and Intelligence Group
based at Diamond Subdivision, Balibago, Angeles City, received
information from one of their informants that a certain woman
from Mountain Province delivers dried marijuana leaves for sale at
Sapang Biabas, Mabalacat, Pampanga to some drug pushers.

Their target female who was described by their informant as about 50 years
old, 5 feet in height, straight long hair and coming from Kalinga
province.|||

At around 5:00 o'clock in the morning of August 13, 1999, their


informant went to their headquarters and informed them that
their suspect is due to arrive at Sapang Biabas, Mabalacat.

PO3 Sagum and PO3 Galvez, together with the informant,


immediately went to Sapang Biabas and parked their car near the
entrance of the road going to Sapang Biabas. While they were in their car, the
informer pointed to them a woman bearing the same description given.

The woman alighted from the tricycle and subsequently loaded two
sacks with camote fruits on top. The two officers proceeded to the place
where the woman was and noticed marijuana dried leaves protruding.

Defendants Version: Frame-Up: Gloria and Jocelyn allowed her to sleep


on the sofa and while she was resting, at around 6:00 o'clock in the
morning, somebody knocked at the door. The police officers asked her
(accused) to go with them as they wanted to talk to her. When she refused,
the policemen forced her out of the house and boarded her to their car. While
she was inside the car, she saw a sack and a carton box containing
sack of marijuana and accused her of owning it.

Appellant Lita Ayangao was charged with transporting 14.75 kilograms of


marijuana and was convicted in trial court.

APPELLANT AYANGAO:

Illegality of her arrest because she was not read her Miranda
rights.
the warrantless search was invalid, not having been made
pursuant to a lawful arrest.

ISSUE: WON the warrantless was valid?

RULING: YES

On Miranda Rights Not Being Read:


this Court has repeatedly ruled that, by entering a plea upon
arraignment and by actively participating in the trial, an accused is
deemed to have waived any objection to his arrest and warrantless search.

On warrantless arrest: Search incidental to lawful arrest

The Court finds that the arrest was lawful as appellant was actually
committing a crime when she was arrested transporting
marijuana, an act prohibited by law. Since a lawful arrest was made,
the resulting warrantless search on appellant was also valid as the
legitimate warrantless arrest authorized the arresting police officers to validly
search and seize from the offender
(1) any dangerous weapons and
(2) the things which may be used as proof of the commission of the offense.

In this case, the arresting officers had probable cause to make the arrest in
view of the tip they received from their informant. This Court has already
ruled that tipped information is sufficient probable cause to effect a
warrantless search. Although the apprehending officers received the tip
two weeks prior to the arrest, they could not be faulted for not applying for a
search warrant inasmuch as the exact date of appellant's arrival was
NOT known by the informant.

The trial court gave more weight to the testimony of PO3 Sagum that stated
otherwise, as evidenced by his finding that the informant arrived at the
police station at 5:00 A.M. on August 13, 1999 and informed them
that the appellant was arriving at 6:00 A.M.
People vs Salanguit, GR No. 133254-55, April 19, 2001

(illegal possession of shabu and drug paraphernalia; invalid portion of


warrant can not invalidate in toto or in whole; VALID)

On December 26, 1995, Sr. Insp. Aguilar applied for a warrant in the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 90, Dasmariias, Cavite, to search the residence
of accused-appellant Robert Salanguit y Ko on Binhagan St., Novaliches,
Quezon City. He presented as his witness SPO1 Edmund Badua, who
testified that as a poseur-buyer, he was able to purchase 2.12 grams
of shabu from accused-appellant.

The sale took place in accused-appellant's room, and Badua saw that
the shabu was taken by accused-appellant from a cabinet inside his
room.

At about 10:30 p.m. of December 26, 1995, a group of about 10 policemen,


along with one civilian informer, went to the residence of accused-
appellant to serve the warrant.

The police operatives knocked on accused-appellants door, but nobody


opened it. They heard people inside the house, apparently panicking. The
police operatives then forced the door open and entered the house.
After showing the search warrant to the occupants of the house, Lt. Cortes and
his group started searching the house. They found:
12 small heat-sealed transparent plastic bags containing a white
crystalline substance,
a paper clip box also containing a white crystalline substance, and
two bricks of dried leaves which appeared to be marijuana wrapped
in newsprint having a total weight of approximately 1,255 grams.

Accused-appellant Salanguit averred:

They heard a commotion at the gate and on the roof of their house. Suddenly,
about 20 men in civilian attire, brandishing long firearms, climbed
over the gate and descended through an opening in the roof.

When accused-appellant demanded to be shown a search warrant, a piece of


paper inside a folder was waved in front of him but he had no chance to
read it. The policemen conducted a search, forcibly opening cabinets
and taking his bag containing money, a licensed .45 caliber
firearm, jewelry , and canned goods.

Trial Court Decision:

1. 11.14 grams SHABU: For violation of Sec. 16, Republic Act No.
6425, as amended, finding the accused guilty sentenced to suffer an
indeterminate sentence with a minimum of six (6) months of arresto
mayor and a maximum of four (4) years and two (2) months
of prision correccional; and,

2. 1,254 grams MARIJUANA: for violation of Sec. 8, Republic


Act No. 6425, as amended, finding the guilty sentenced to
suffer reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P700,000.00.

Search Warrant Reads:

SEARCH WARRANT

TO ANY PEACE OFFICER:

G R E E T I N G S:

It appearing to the satisfaction of the undersigned after examining


under oath SR. INSP. RODOLFO V. AGUILAR, PNP and his witness
SPO1 EDMUND M. BADUA, PNP that there is probable cause to
believe that ROBERT SALANGUIT has in his possession and control in
his premises Binhagan St., San Jose, Quezon City as shown in Annex
"A", the properties to wit:

UNDETERMINED QUANTITY OF SHABU AND DRUG


PARAPHERNALIA

which should be seized and brought to the undersigned.

You are hereby commanded to make an immediate search anytime of


the day/night of the premises above-described and forthwith seize and
take possession of the above-stated properties and bring said properties
to the undersigned to be dealt with as the law directs.

GIVEN UNDER MY HAND this 26th day of December 1995 at Imus,


Cavite, Philippines.

Accused-appellant appealed:

First, the admissibility of the shabu allegedly recovered from his residence as
evidence against him on the ground that the warrant used in obtaining it was
invalid.

Second, the admissibility in evidence of the marijuana allegedly seized


from accused-appellant pursuant to the "plain view" doctrine.

Third, the employment of unnecessary force by the police in the execution of


the warrant.

Issues:

1. WON the search warrant is valid under three grounds:

a. that there was probable cause to search for drug paraphernalia;


b. that the search warrant was issued for more than one specific
offense because possession or use of methamphetamine
hydrochloride and possession of drug paraphernalia are
punished under two different provisions of R.A. No. 6425; and
c. that the place to be searched was not described with sufficient
particularity.
2. WON the marijuana is admissible based on the plain view doctrine?
3. WON unnecessary force was used to effect the search?
4. Corresponding penalty of the crime?

Rulings:

1. YES VALID even if it has part which is invalid.

a. However, the fact that there was no probable cause to support


the application for the seizure of drug paraphernalia does not
warrant the conclusion that the search warrant is void. This fact would be
material only if drug paraphernalia was in fact seized by the police. The fact is
that none was taken by virtue of the search warrant issued. If at all, therefore,
the search warrant is void only insofar as it authorized the seizure of drug
paraphernalia, but it is valid as to the seizure of methamphetamine
hydrochloride as to which evidence was presented showing probable cause as
to its existence.

It would be a drastic remedy indeed if a warrant, which was issued on


probable cause and particularly describing the items to be seized on the basis
thereof, is to be invalidated in toto because the judge erred in authorizing a
search for other items not supported by the evidence. Accordingly, we hold
that the first part of the search warrant, authorizing the search of
accused-appellant's house for an undetermined quantity
of shabu, is valid, even though the second part, with respect to the
search for drug paraphernalia, is not.(no probable cause)

b. valid, one search warrant for use of regulated and possession of


paraphernalia

in People v. Dichoso the search warrant was also for "Violation of R.A. 6425,"
without specifying what provisions of the law were violated, and it authorized
the search and seizure of "dried marijuana leaves and
methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and sets of
paraphernalia." This Court, however, upheld the validity of the
warrant:

The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 is a special law that deals specifically with
dangerous drugs which are subsumed into "prohibited" and "regulated" drugs
and defines and penalizes categories of offenses which are closely related or
which belong to the same class or species. Accordingly, one (1) search
warrant may thus be validly issued for the said violations of the
Dangerous Drugs Act.

c. As the Solicitor General states:


.....While the address stated in the warrant is merely "Binhagan St., San
Jose, Quezon City," the trial court took note of the fact that the records of
Search Warrant Case No.160 contained several documents which
identified the premises to be searched, to wit:
1) the application for search warrant which stated that the
premises to be searched was located in between No.7 and 11 at Binhagan
Street, San Jose, Quezon City;
2) the deposition of witness which described the premises as
"a house without a number located at Binhagan St., San Jose, Quezon City;
and
3) the pencil sketch of the location of the premises to be
searched.
The rule is that a description of the place to be searched is sufficient if
the officer with the warrant can, with reasonable effort, ascertain
and identify the place intended to be searched.

2. Inadmissible, no immediate apparent illegality

Under the "plain view doctrine,", for this doctrine to apply, there must be:

(a) prior justification;

(b) inadvertent discovery of the evidence; and

(c) immediate apparent illegality of the evidence before the police.

The police failed to allege in this case the time when the marijuana was
found, i.e., whether prior to, or contemporaneous with,
the shabu subject of the warrant, or whether it was recovered on
accused-appellant's person or in an area within his immediate control. Its
recovery, therefore, presumably during the search conducted after
the shabu had been recovered from the cabinet, as attested to by SPO1
Badua in his depostion, was invalid.

The marijuana bricks were wrapped in newsprint. There was no


apparent illegality to justify their seizure.

3. No unnecessary force

The occupants of the house, especially accused-appellant, refused to open


the door despite the fact that the searching party knocked on the
door several times. Furthermore, the agents saw the suspicious movements
of the people inside the house. These circumstances justified the searching
party's forcible entry into the house, founded as it is on the
apprehension that the execution of their mission would be frustrated unless
they do so.

Rule 126, 7 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure42 provides:

Right to break door or window to effect search. - The officer, if


refused admittance to the place of directed search after giving notice
of his purpose and authority, may break open any outer or inner
door or window of a house or any part of a house or anything therein to
execute the warrant or liberate himself or any person lawfully aiding
him when unlawfully detained therein.

4. 11.14 grams SHABU: For violation of Sec. 16, Republic Act No.
6425, as amended, finding the accused guilty sentenced to suffer an
indeterminate sentence with a minimum of six (6) months of arresto
mayor and a maximum of four (4) years and two (2) months of prision
correccional; - AFFIRMED

1,254 grams MARIJUANA: for violation of Sec. 8, Republic Act


No. 6425, as amended, finding the guilty sentenced to suffer reclusion
perpetua and to pay a fine of P700,000.00 REVERSED; ACQUITTED

Analysis:

Rule 126, 4 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure provides that a


search warrant shall not issue except upon probable cause in connection
with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after
examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the
witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be
searched and the things to be seized which may be anywhere in the
Philippines.

Aday v. Superior Court, the warrant properly described two obscene books
but improperly described other articles. It was held:

Although the warrant was defective in the respects noted, it does


not follow that it was invalid as a whole. Such a conclusion would mean
that the seizure of certain articles, even though proper if viewed separately,
must be condemned merely because the warrant was defective with respect to
other articles. The invalid portions of the warrant are severable from
the authorization relating to the named books, which formed the
principal basis of the charge of obscenity.

Once the valid portion of the search warrant has been executed, the
"plain view doctrine" can no longer provide any basis -for
admitting the other items subsequently found. As has been explained:

The only other possible justification for an intrusion by the police is the
conduct of a search pursuant to "accused-appellant's lawful arrest for
possession of shabu. However, a search incident to a lawful arrest is
limited to the person of the one arrested and the premises within
his immediate control. The rationale for permitting such a search is to
prevent the person arrested from obtaining a weapon to commit violence, or
to reach for incriminatory evidence and destroy it.

People v. Sy-Chua, G.R. Nos. 136066-67, [February 4, 2003], 444 PHIL 757-
777

On September 21, 1996, at around 10:00 in the evening, SPO2 Mario Nulud
and PO2 Emmeraldo Nunag received a report from their confidential
informant that accused-appellant was about to deliver drugs that
night at the Thunder Inn Hotel in Balibago, Angeles City.
The group of SPO2 Nulud, PO2 Nunag and the civilian informer positioned
themselves across McArthur Highway near Bali Hai Restaurant, fronting
Thunder Inn Hotel. The other group acted as their back up.

At around 11:45 in the evening, their informer pointed to a car driven


by accused-appellant which just arrived and parked near the entrance of
the Thunder Inn Hotel.

After accused-appellant alighted from the car carrying a sealed Zest-O


juice box, SPO2 Nulud and PO2 Nunag hurriedly accosted him and
introduced themselves as police officers.

As accused-appellant pulled out his wallet, a small transparent


plastic bag with a crystalline substance protruded from his right back
pocket. Forthwith, SPO2 Nulud subjected him to a body search which
yielded twenty (20) pieces of live .22 caliber firearm bullets from his left
back pocket.

RTC Decision:
On September 15, 1998 the Regional Trial Court:

In Criminal Case No. 96-513 for Illegal Possession of Ammunitions, the


accused is hereby acquitted.

In Criminal Case No. 96-507 for Illegal Possession of 1,955.815 grams


of shabu, accused Binad Sy Chua is found GUILTY beyond
reasonable doubt

Accused-appellant SY CHUA
he has been under surveillance for two years, there was therefore
no compelling reason for the haste within which the arresting officers
sought to arrest and search him without a warrant;
that since his arrest was null and void, the drugs that were seized
should likewise be inadmissible in evidence since they were obtained in
violation of his constitutional rights against unreasonable search and
seizures and arrest.

ISSUE: WON the warrantless arrest was valid?

RULING: NO

In in flagrante delicto arrests, the accused is apprehended at the very


moment he is committing or attempting to commit or has just committed an
offense in the presence of the arresting officer. Accordingly, for this exception
to apply two elements must concur:
(1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he
has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a
crime; and
(2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the
arresting officer.

We find the two aforementioned elements lacking in the case at bar. The
record reveals that when accused-appellant arrived at the vicinity of
Thunder Inn Hotel, he merely parked his car along the McArthur
Highway, alighted from it and casually proceeded towards the entrance of the
Hotel clutching a sealed Zest-O juice box.
Accused-appellant did not act in a suspicious manner. For all intents
and purposes, there was no overt manifestation that accused-appellant
has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a
crime.

As applied to in flagrante delicto arrests, it has been held that "reliable


information" alone, absent any overt act indicative of a felonious
enterprise in the presence and within the view of the arresting officers, is
NOT sufficient to constitute probable cause that would justify an in
flagrante delicto arrest.

No less than SPO2 Mario Nulud, the team leader of the arresting operatives,
admitted that their informant has been telling them about the activities of
accused-appellant for two years prior to his actual arrest on
September 21, 1996. Whatever information their civilian asset relayed to them
hours before accused-appellant's arrest was not a product of an "on the-
spot" tip which may excuse them from obtaining a warrant of arrest.
Accordingly, the arresting team's contention that their arrest of accused-
appellant was a product of an "on-the-spot" tip is untenable.

On Stop-and-Frisk:
There was no valid "stop-and-frisk" in the case of accused-appellant. To
reiterate, accused-appellant was first arrested before the search and
seizure of the alleged illegal items found in his possession. The apprehending
police operative failed to make any initial inquiry into accused-
appellant's business in the vicinity or the contents of the Zest-O juice box he
was carrying. The apprehending police officers only introduced
themselves when they already had custody of accused-appellant.
The police officer should properly introduce himself and make initial
inquiries, approach and restrain a person who manifests unusual and
suspicious conduct, in order to check the latter's outer clothing for possibly
concealed weapons. The apprehending police officer must have a genuine
reason, in accordance with the police officer's experience and the
surrounding conditions, to warrant the belief that the person to be held
has weapons (or contraband) concealed about him. 27 It should therefore be
emphasized that a search and seizure should precede the arrest for
this principle to apply
On Plain View:

Neither can there be valid seizure in plain view on the basis of the seized items
found in accused-appellant's possession. First, there was no valid
intrusion. Second, the evidence, i.e., the plastic bags found in the Zest-O
juice box which contained (shabu) and the 20 rounds of .22 caliber
ammunition, were not inadvertently discovered. The police officers first
arrested accused-appellant and intentionally searched his person and peeked
into the sealed Zest-O juice box before they were able to see and later on
ascertain that the crystalline substance was shabu.

On Non-marking of evidence:

we entertain doubts whether the items allegedly seized from accused-


appellant were the very same items presented at the trial of this case. The
record shows that the initial field test where the items seized were identified
as shabu, was only conducted at the PNP headquarters of Angeles City. The
items were therefore not marked at the place where they were taken.

ANALYSIS:

In Malacat v. Court of Appeals, we distinguished the concepts of a "stop-and-


frisk" and of a search incidental to a lawful arrest, to wit:
At the outset, we note that the trial court confused the concepts
of a "stop-and-frisk" and of a search incidental to a lawful
arrest. These two types of warrantless searches differ in
terms of the requisite quantum of proof before they may
be validly effected and in their allowable Scope.
In a search incidental to a lawful arrest, as the
precedent arrest determines the validity of the incidental
search, the legality of the arrest is questioned in a large
majority of these cases, e.g., whether an arrest was merely
used as a pretext for conducting a search. In this instance, the
law requires that there first be arrest before a search can
be madethe process cannot be reversed.
xxx xxx xxx
We now proceed to the justification for and allowable scope of
a "stop-and-frisk" as a "limited protective search of outer
clothing for weapons," as laid down in Terry, thus:
We merely hold today that where a police
officer observes unusual conduct which
leads him reasonably to conclude in light of his
experience that criminal activity may be afoot
and that the persons with whom he is dealing
may be armed and presently dangerous, where
in the course of investigating this behavior he
identifies himself as a policeman and
makes reasonable inquiries, and xxx
Other notable points of Terry are that while probable cause is not
required to conduct a "stop-and-frisk," it nevertheless holds that mere
suspicion or a hunch will not validate a "stop-and-frisk." A genuine
reason must exist, in light of the police officer's experience and
surrounding conditions, to warrant the belief that the person detained
has weapons concealed about him.

Finally, a "stop-and-frisk" serves a two-fold interest:


(1) the general interest of effective crime prevention and detection,
which underlies the recognition that a police officer may, under appropriate
circumstances and in an appropriate manner, approach a person for purposes
of investigating possible criminal behavior even without probable cause; and
(2) the more pressing interest of safety and self-preservation which
permit the police officer to take steps to assure himself that the
person with whom he deals is not armed with a deadly weapon that could
unexpectedly and fatally be used against the police officer.

Robin Padilla vs Court of Appeals, GR NO. 121917, MARCH


12, 1997

At about 8:00 o'clock in the evening of October 26, 1992, Enrique


Manarang and his compadre Danny Perez were inside the
Manukan sa Highway Restaurant in Sto. Kristo, Angeles City where
they took shelter from the heavy downpour that had interrupted
their ride on motorcycles along McArthur Highway.

While inside the restaurant, Manarang noticed a vehicle, a Mitsubishi


Pajero, running fast down the highway prompting him to
remark that the vehicle might get into an accident
considering the inclement weather.

True enough, immediately after the vehicle had passed the restaurant,
Manarang and Perez heard a screeching sound produced by the
sudden and hard braking of a vehicle running very fast
followed by a sickening sound of the vehicle hitting
something.

Manarang and Cruz went out to investigate and immediately saw the
vehicle occupying the edge or shoulder of the highway giving it a slight
tilt to its side Manarang, being a member of both the Spectrum,
a civic group and the Barangay Disaster Coordinating
Council, decided to report the incident to the Philippine National
Police of Angeles City. He took out his radio and called the Viper,
the radio controller of the Philippine National Police of
Angeles City. By the time Manarang completed the call, the vehicle
had started to leave the place of the accident taking the general
direction to the north.

Manarang went to the location of the accident and found out that the
vehicle had hit somebody.

He asked Cruz to look after the victim while he went back to the
restaurant, rode on his motorcycle and chased the vehicle.
During the chase he was able to make out the plate number of the
vehicle as PMA 777 He called the Viper through the radio once again
reporting that a vehicle heading north with plate number PMA 777 was
involved in a hit and run accident.

Soon the vehicle was within sight of SPO2 Borja and SPO2
Miranda of Mobile No. 3 (When the vehicle was about twelve
(12) meters away from their position, the two police officers boarded
their Mobile car, switched on the engine, operated the siren and
strobe light and drove out to intercept the vehicle. They cut
into the path of the vehicle forcing it to stop

The driver rolled down the window and put his head out while raising
both his hands. They recognized the driver as Robin C. Padilla.

Appellant was wearing a short leather jacket such that when he alighted
with both his hands raised, a gun tucked on the left side of his
waist was revealed.

SPO2 Borja made the move to confiscate the gun but appellant held the
former's hand alleging that the gun was covered by legal papers
SPO2 Borja, however, insisted that if the gun really was covered by
legal papers, it would have to be shown in the office. After disarming
appellant, SPO2 Borja told him about the hit and run incident
which was angrily denied by appellant.

Another vehicle, Mobile No. 7 with SPO Ruben Mercado, SPO3 Tan and
SPO2 Odejar on board arrived (pp. 11-12, TSN, March 8, 1993). As the
most senior police officer in the group, SPO Mercado took over the
matter and informed appellant that he was being arrested for
the hit and run incident

He pointed out to appellant the fact that the plate number of his vehicle
was dangling and the railing and the hood were dented. Appellant,
however, arrogantly denied his misdeed and, instead, played with
the crowd by holding their hands with one hand and pointing to SPO3
Borja with his right hand saying 'iyan, kinuha ang baril ko'. Because
appellant's jacket was short, his gesture exposed a long
magazine of an armalite rifle tucked in appellant's back
right pocket. SPO Mercado saw this and so when appellant turned
around as he was talking and proceeding to his vehicle, Mercado
confiscated the magazine from appellant. Suspecting that
appellant could also be carrying a rifle inside the vehicle since he had a
magazine, SPO2 Mercado prevented appellant from going back to his
vehicle by opening himself the door of appellant's vehicle (16-
17, ibid). He saw a baby armalite rifle lying horizontally at
the front by the driver's seat. It had a long magazine filled with
live bullets in a semi-automatic mode. He asked appellant for the
papers covering the rifle and appellant answered angrily
that they were at his home. SPO Mercado modified the arrest of
appellant by including as its ground illegal possession of firearms.
SPO Mercado then read to appellant his constitutional rights

The police officers brought appellant to the Traffic Division at Jake


Gonzales Boulevard where appellant voluntarily surrendered a
third firearm, a pietro berreta pistol. Appellant also
voluntarily surrendered a black bag containing two
additional long magazines and one short magazine.

During the investigation, appellant admitted possession of the


firearms stating that he used them for shooting. He was not able to
produce any permit to carry or memorandum receipt to cover the
three firearms.

On November 28, 1992, a certification was issued by Captain, Senior


Inspector Mario Espino, PNP, Chief, Record Branch of the Firearms and
Explosives Office (pp. 7-8, TSN, March 4, 1993). The Certification stated
that the three firearms confiscated from appellant:
1. an M-16 Baby armalite rifle SN-RP 131280,
2. a .357 caliber revolver Smith and Wesson SN 32919 and
3. a .380 Pietro Beretta SN-A35720,
All were not registered in the name of Robin C. Padilla.

The lower court then ordered the arrest of petitioner, but granted his
application for bail of P200,000. During the arraignment on
January 20, 1993, a plea of not guilty was entered for petitioner after
he refused, upon advice of counsel to make any plea Petitioner waived
in writing his right to be present in any and all stages of the
case.

OSG opined:
strong evidence of guilt, filed on December 2, 1994 a motion to
cancel petitioner's bail bond.

RTC Decision:
GUILTY and sentenced him to an "indeterminate penalty from 17
years, 4 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal as minimum, to 21
years of reclusion perpetua, as maximum".[11]
Petitioner Padilla appealed:

(1) that his arrest was illegal and consequently, the firearms and
ammunitions taken in the course thereof are inadmissible in evidence under
the exclusionary rule;
(2) that he is a confidential agent authorized, under a Mission Order and
Memorandum Receipt, to carry the subject firearms; and
(3) that the penalty for simple illegal possession constitutes excessive and
cruel punishment proscribed by the 1987 Constitution.
Petitioner would nonetheless insist on the illegality of his arrest by
arguing that the policemen who actually arrested him were not at the
scene of the hit and run.
Issues:
1. WON the arrest was valid when the arresting officer did not see
the actual hit and run?

Rulings:

1. Yes valid both under Par(a) and (b)


Warrantless arrests are sanctioned in the following instances: [28]
"Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. - A peace officer or
a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has
committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit
an offense;
(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he
has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be
arrested has committed it.
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has
escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is
serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is
pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one
confinement to another.
For Paragraph a

Requires that the person be arrested:


(i) after he has committed or while he is actually committing or is at least
attempting to commit an offense,
(ii) in the presence of the arresting officer or private person.
Both elements concurred here, as it has been established that petitioner's
vehicle figured in a hit and run - an offense committed in the
"presence" of Manarang, a private person, who then sought to
arrest petitioner.

It must be stressed at this point that "presence" does not only require
that the arresting person sees the offense, but also when he "hears
the disturbance created thereby AND proceeds at once to the
scene.

That Manarang decided to seek the aid of the policemen (who


admittedly were nowhere in the vicinity of the hit and run) in effecting
petitioner's arrest, did not in any way affect the propriety of the apprehension.
It was in fact the most prudent action Manarang could have taken rather than
collaring petitioner by himself, inasmuch as policemen are unquestionably
better trained and well-equipped in effecting an arrest of a suspect.

For Paragraph b
There was no supervening event or a considerable lapse of time
between the hit and run and the actual apprehension.
The policemen saw for themselves the fast approaching Pajero of
petitioner,[38] its dangling plate number (PMA 777 as reported by Manarang),
and the dented hood and railings thereof. These formed part of the
arresting police officer's personal knowledge of the facts indicating
that petitioner's Pajero was indeed the vehicle involved in the hit and run
incident. Verily then, the arresting police officers acted upon verified personal
knowledge and not on unreliable hearsay information.

We now go to the firearms and ammunitions seized from petitioner


without a search warrant, the admissibility in evidence of which, we uphold.
The five (5) well-settled instances when a warrantless search
and seizure of property is valid, are as follows:
1. warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest recognized
under Section 12, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court [45] and by
prevailing jurisprudence,
2. Seizure of evidence in "plain view", the elements of which
are:
(a). a prior valid intrusion based on the valid
warrantless arrest in which the police are legally present
in the pursuit of their official duties;
(b). the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the
police who had the right to be where they are;
(c). the evidence must be immediately apparent, and
(d). "plain view" justified mere seizure of evidence
without further search.[48]
3. search of a moving vehicle. Highly regulated by the
government, the vehicle's inherent mobility reduces expectation
of privacy especially when its transit in public thoroughfares
furnishes a highly reasonable suspicion amounting to probable
cause that the occupant committed a criminal activity. [50]

4. consented warrantless search, and

5. customs search.

In conformity with respondent court's observation, it indeed appears that the


authorities stumbled upon petitioner's firearms and ammunitions
without even undertaking any active search which, as it is commonly
understood, is a prying into hidden places for that which is concealed. The
seizure of the Smith & Wesson revolver and an M-16 rifle magazine was
justified for they came within "plain view" of the policemen
who inadvertently discovered the revolver and magazine tucked in
petitioner's waist and back pocket respectively, when he raised his
hands after alighting from his Pajero. The same justification applies to
the confiscation of the M-16 armalite rifle which was immediately apparent to
the policemen as they took a casual glance at the Pajero and saw said rifle
lying horizontally near the driver's seat.

With respect to the Berreta pistol and a black bag containing assorted
magazines, petitioner voluntarily surrendered them to the police. This
latter gesture of petitioner indicated a waiver of his right against the
alleged search and seizure, and that his failure to quash the information
estopped him from assailing any purported defect.
Even assuming that the firearms and ammunitions were products of an
active search done by the authorities on the person and vehicle of petitioner,
their seizure without a search warrant nonetheless can still be justified under
a search incidental to a lawful arrest (first instance).
This satisfied the two-tiered test of an incidental search:
(i) the item to be searched (vehicle) was within the arrestee's custody or
area of immediate control and
(ii) the search was contemporaneous with the arrest.

The products of that search are admissible evidence not excluded by the
exclusionary rule.
Another justification is a search of a moving vehicle (third
instance). In connection therewith, a warrantless search is constitutionally
permissible when, as in this case, the officers conducting the search have
reasonable or probable cause to believe, before the search, that either the
motorist is a law-offender (like herein petitioner with respect to
the hit and run) or the contents or cargo of the vehicle are or have
been instruments or the subject matter or the proceeds of some
criminal offense.

2. Untenable, the mission or memorandum is questionable

Indeed, petitioner's purported Mission Order and Memorandum Receipt are


inferior in the face of the more formidable evidence for the prosecution as our
meticulous review of the records reveals that the Mission Order and
Memorandum Receipt were mere afterthoughts contrived and issued
under suspicious circumstances.
In crimes involving illegal possession of firearm, two requisites
must be established, viz.:
(1) the existence of the subject firearm and,
(2) the fact that the accused who owned or possessed the firearm does not
have the corresponding license or permit to possess.

On this score, we lift from respondent court's incisive observation. Thus:


"Appellant's contention is predicated on the assumption that the
Memorandum Receipts and Mission Order were issued before the
subject firearms were seized and confiscated from him by the police
officers in Angeles City. That is not so. The evidence adduced
indicate that the Memorandum Receipts and Mission Order
were prepared and executed long after appellant had been
apprehended on October 26, 1992.

Further certify that the following firearms are not registered with this Office
per verification from available records on file this Office as of this date:

M16 Baby Armalite SN-RP131120

Revolver Cal 357 SN-3219


Pistol Cal 380 Pietro Beretta SN-35723

"However, we have on file one Pistol Cal 380, Beretta with serial number
35723Y, licensed/registered to one Albert Villanueva Fallorina of 29 San
Juan St., Capitol Pasig, MM under Re-Registered License.

3. Not cruel if granted by statutes

"It takes more than merely being harsh, excessive, out of proportion, or severe
for a penalty to be obnoxious to the Constitution. 'The fact that the
punishment authorized by the statute is severe does not make it
cruel and unusual.'

In the case at bar, no mitigating or aggravating circumstances have


been alleged or proved, In accordance with the doctrine regarding special laws
explained in People v. Simon, although Presidential Decree No. 1866 is a
special law, the penalties therein were taken from the Revised
Penal Code, hence the rules in said Code for graduating by degrees or
determining the proper period should be applied.

Conclusion:

WHEREFORE, AFFIRMED EXCEPT that petitioner's


indeterminate penalty is MODIFIED to ten (10) years and one (1) day, as
minimum, to eighteen (18) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day, as
maximum.

Analysis:

Any objection, defect or irregularity attending an arrest must be


made before the accused enters his plea. Petitioner's belated challenge
thereto aside from his failure to quash the information, his participation in the
trial and by presenting his evidence, placed him in estoppel to assail the
legality of his arrest. Likewise, by applying for bail, petitioner patently
waived such irregularities and defects.

People vs Aminnudin, 163 SCRA 220. G.R.No. 74869 July 6, 1988

(illegal possession of marijuana; warrantless arrest due to informers tip 2


days ago while going down the ship; enough time to secure a warrant;
INVALID)

PC officers had earlier received a tip from one of their informers that the
accused-appellant was on board a vessel bound for Iloilo City and was
carrying marijuana. He was identified by name. Acting on this tip, they
waited for him in the evening of June 25, 1984, and approached him as he
descended from the gangplank after the informer had pointed to him.
They detained him and inspected the bag he was carrying. It was found to
contain three kilos of marijuana leaves.

Idel Aminnudin was arrested on June 25, 1984, shortly after


disembarking from the M/V Wilcon 9 at about 8:30 in the evening,
in Iloilo City.

Later, the information was amended to include Farida Ali y Hassen, who
had also been arrested with him that same evening and likewise investigated.

Subsequently, the fiscal filed a motion to dismiss the charge against


Ali on the basis of a sworn statement of the arresting officers
absolving her after a 'thorough investigation."

Defendant Aminnudin averred:


All he had in his bag was his clothing consisting of a jacket, two shirts
and two pairs of pants. At the PC headquarters, he was manhandled to
force him to admit he was carrying the marijuana, the investigator hitting
him with a piece of wood in the chest. He insisted he did not even know what
marijuana looked like and that his business was selling watches and
sometimes cigarettes.

Trial Court Decision:

The trial court, disbelieving him, held it was high time to put him away and
sentenced him to life imprisonment plus a fine of P20,000.00.

The trial court was unconvinced, noting from its own examination of the
accused that he claimed to have come to Iloilo City to sell watches but
carried only two watches at the time, traveling from Jolo for that
purpose and spending P107.00 for fare, not to mention his other expenses.
The trial court also rejected his allegations of maltreatment, observing that he
had not sufficiently proved the injuries sustained by him.

OSG opined:

For his part, the Solicitor General dismissed this after an all-too-short
argument that the arrest of Aminnudin was valid because it came under
Rule 113, Section 6(b) of the Rules of Court on warrantless arrests. This made
the search also valid as incidental to a lawful arrest.

Cross-examination of the chief of the arresting team, Lt. Cipriano


Querol, Jr:

Q So that even before you received the official


report on June 23, 1984, you had already gathered
information to the effect that Idel Aminnudin was
coming to Iloilo on June 25, 1984?

A Only on the 23rd of June.

Q You did not try to secure a search warrant


for the seizure or search of the subject mentioned
in your intelligence report?

A No, more.

Q Why not?

A Because we were very very sure that our


operation will yield positive result.
Q Is that your procedure that whenever it will yield
positive result you do not need a search warrant
anymore?

A Search warrant is not necessary.

Issues:

1. WON the accused was caught in flagrante to justify warrantless arrest?

2. WON there is enough time to secure a search warrant?

3. WON there was a probable cause for the warrantless arrest?

Rulings:

1. No

Contrary to the averments of the government, the accused-appellant was not


caught in flagrante nor was a crime about to be committed or had
just been committed to justify the warrantless arrest allowed under Rule
113 of the Rules of Court.

Their only justification was the tip they had earlier received from a
reliable and regular informer who reported to them that Aminnudin was
arriving in Iloilo by boat with marijuana. Their testimony varies as to the
time they received the tip, one saying it was two days before the
arrest, another two weeks and a third "weeks before June 25."

On this matter, we may prefer the declaration of the chief of the arresting
team, Lt. Cipriano Querol, Jr

2. Yes, there is enough time

The present case presented no such urgency. From the conflicting


declarations of the PC witnesses, it is clear that they had at least two days
within which they could have obtained a warrant to arrest and search
Aminnudin who was coming to Iloilo on the M/V Wilcon 9. His name was
known. The vehicle was identified. The date of its arrival was
certain. And from the information they had received, they could have
persuaded a judge that there was probable cause, indeed, to justify the
issuance of a warrant. Yet they did nothing. No effort was made to comply
with the law. The Bill of Rights was ignored altogether because the PC
lieutenant who was the head of the arresting team, had determined on his
own authority that a "search warrant was not necessary."

3. No probable cause.

No indication that he has committed, committing or about to commit a crime.


What he was doing was descending the gangplank of the M/V Wilcon 9
and there was no outward indication that called for his arrest. To all
appearances, he was like any of the other passengers innocently
disembarking from the vessel. It was only when the informer pointed to
him as the carrier of the marijuana that he suddenly became suspect and so
subject to apprehension. It was the furtive finger that triggered his arrest. The
Identification by the informer was the probable cause as determined by the
officers (and not a judge) that authorized them to pounce upon Aminnudin
and immediately arrest him.

Without the evidence of the marijuana allegedly seized from Aminnudin, the
case of the prosecution must fall. That evidence cannot be admitted, and
should never have been considered by the trial court for the simple fact is that
the marijuana was seized illegally. It is the fruit of the poisonous tree, to
use Justice Holmes' felicitous phrase. The search was not an incident of a
lawful arrest because there was no warrant of arrest and the
warrantless arrest did not come under the exceptions allowed by
the Rules of Court. Hence, the warrantless search was also illegal and the
evidence obtained thereby was inadmissible.

Conclusion:

We find that with the exclusion of the illegally seized marijuana as evidence
against the accused-appellant, his guilt has not been proved beyond
reasonable doubt and he must therefore be discharged on the presumption
that he is innocent.

ACCORDINGLY, the decision of the trial court is REVERSED and the


accused-appellant is ACQUITTED.

Analysis:

The only exception we may make in this case is the trial court's conclusion
that the accused-appellant was not really beaten up because he did
not complain about it later nor did he submit to a medical examination. That
is hardly fair or realistic. It is possible Aminnudin never had that
opportunity as he was at that time under detention by the PC
authorities and in fact has never been set free since he was arrested in 1984
and up to the present. No bail has been allowed for his release.

Roldan v. Arca, for example. Here it was held that vessels and aircraft are
subject to warrantless searches and seizures for violation of the
customs law because these vehicles may be quickly moved out of the locality
or jurisdiction before the warrant can be secured.

In the many cases where this Court has sustained the warrantless arrest of
violators of the Dangerous Drugs Act, it has always been shown that they were
caught red-handed, as a result of what are popularly called "buy-bust"
operations of the narcotics agents. Rule 113 was clearly applicable
because at the precise time of arrest the accused was in the act of
selling the prohibited drug.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs ZENAIDA QUEBRAL y MATEO,


et al G.R. No. 185379, November 27, 2009
A police informers report that two men and a woman on board an
owner type jeep with a specific plate number would deliver shabu on
the following day at a Petron Gasoline Station in Balagtas to Michael
Salvador, a drug pusher in the police watch list

Since the informer did not give the exact time of the delivery of shabu, the
police officers staked out the expressway exit until late afternoon.

At around 4:00 p.m., such a jeep, bearing the reported plate


number and with two men and a woman on board, came out of the Balagtas
Exit.

The police trailed the jeep. After a few minutes, a Tamaraw FX


arrived from which accused- appellant Michael Salvador
alighted. He walked towards the jeep and talked to accused Zenaida Quebral,
who then handed a white envelope to him.

The police officers alighted from their vehicles and surrounded


the jeep. Galvez took the envelope from Michael, opened it, and saw five
plastic sachets containing shabu.
APPELLANT QUEBRAL, et al:

the police did not have valid ground to arrest them, their subsequent
search of them was illegal and the evidence of the seized shabu cannot be
admitted in evidence against them.

the chemist who examined the seized substance did not testify in
court, the prosecution was unable to establish the indispensable element
of corpus delicti.

ISSUE:

1. WON the warrantless arrest was valid?

2. WON testimony of the chemist is indispensable?

RULING:

1. YES, Search then Arrest (Tip information is sufficient as long as


it is urgent)
It was more of a search preceding an arrest. The police officers
had information that two men and a woman on board an owner type jeep
would arrive in Balagtas and hand over a consignment of shabu at a gas
station in town to a known drug dealer whose name was on the police watch
list. When these things unfolded before their eyes as they watched from a
distance, the police came down on those persons and searched them, resulting
in the discovery and seizure of a quantity of shabu in their possession. In such
a case, the search is a valid search justifying the arrest that came
after it.
The police acted on reasonable ground of suspicion or belief
supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a
cautious man to believe that a crime has been committed or is about to be
committed.

An immediate search was warranted since they would have gone away
by the time the police could apply for a search warrant. [8] The drugs could be
easily transported and concealed with impunity.[9]

In the present case, all the information the police had about the persons
in possession of the prohibited drugs was that they were two men and a
woman(NO NAME) on board an owner type jeep. A search warrant issued
against such persons could be used by the police to harass practically anyone.

2. No need

This Court has held that the non-presentation of the forensic chemist
in illegal drug cases is an insufficient cause for acquittal.[14] The
corpus delicti in dangerous drugs cases constitutes the dangerous drug
itself. This means that proof beyond doubt of the identity of the prohibited
drug is essential.

Besides, corpus delicti has nothing to do with the testimony of the


laboratory analyst. In fact, this Court has ruled that the report of an official
forensic chemist regarding a recovered prohibited drug enjoys the
presumption of regularity in its preparation.

As it has been held in a recent case, [23] failure to comply strictly with
those requirements will not render the seizure of the prohibited
drugs invalid for so long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the
confiscated items are properly preserved by the apprehending officers.

People vs Bokingo and Col, GR No. 187536, August 10, 2011

At around 1:00 a.m. on 29 February 2000, Vitalicio was spin-drying his


clothes inside his apartment when DECEASED Pasion came from the
front door, passed by him and went out of the back door.
A few minutes later, he heard a commotion from Apartment No. 3. He
headed to said unit to check. He peeped through a screen door and saw
Bokingco hitting something on the floor.

On separate part of the vicinity, RESPONDENT Col blocked Elsa(the


wife of decease)s way. Elsa asked him why he was inside their house but
Col suddenly ran towards her, sprayed tear gas on her eyes and poked a
sharp object under her chin. Col then instructed her to open the vault of
the pawnshop but Elsa informed him that she does not know the
combination lock. Before they reached the door, Elsa saw Bokingco open
the screen door and heard him tell Col: "tara, patay na siya." 10 Col
immediately let her go and ran away with Bokingco. Elsa proceeded to
Apartment No. 3. Thereat, she saw her husband PASION lying on the
floor, bathed in his own blood.

Evelyn Gan, the stenographic reporter attests that Bokingco admitted that
he conspired with Col to kill Pasion and that they planned the killing
several days before because they got "fed up" with Pasion.

It was during the preliminary investigation that Bokingco


mentioned his and Cols plan to kill Pasion.

Bokingco made two (2) separate and dissimilar admissions:

first, in his extrajudicial confession taken during the preliminary


investigation where he admitted that he and Col planned the killing
of Pasion; and

second, when he testified in open court that he was only provoked in


hitting Pasion back when the latter hit him in the head.

On the basis of his extrajudicial confession, Bokingco was charged for murder
qualified by evident premeditation and treachery. TRIAL COURT
CONVICTED and CA affirmed.

ISSUES:
1) whether the qualifying circumstances were properly appreciated to convict
appellant Bokingco of murder and
2) WON the extrajudicial admission made by Bokingco during PI is
admissible?
3) whether appellant Col is guilty beyond reasonable doubt as a co-
conspirator.
4) whether the extrajudicial admission made by Col against Bokingco is
admissible?

RULING:

1. No, not murder but only homicide


We agree with appellants that treachery cannot be appreciated to
qualify the crime to murder in the absence of any proof of the manner in
which the aggression was commenced. For treachery to be appreciated, the
prosecution must prove that at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a
position to defend himself, and that the offender consciously adopted the
particular means, method or form of attack employed by him. 29 Nobody
witnessed the commencement and the manner of the attack. While
the witness Vitalicio managed to see Bokingco hitting something on
the floor, he failed to see the victim at that time.

2. NO because no counsel present (MIRANDA RIGHTS APPLY)

It was during the preliminary investigation that Bokingco mentioned his and
Cols plan to kill Pasion.35 Bokingcos confession was admittedly taken
without the assistance of counsel in violation of Section 12, Article III of
the 1987 Constitution,

In People v. Sunga, we held that "the right to counsel applies in certain


pretrial proceedings that can be deemed critical stages in the
criminal process. The preliminary investigation can be no different
from the in-custody interrogations by the police, for a suspect who takes
part in a preliminary investigation will be subjected to no less than the
State's processes, oftentimes intimidating and relentless, of pursuing
those who might be liable for criminal prosecution."

3. NO

An acquittal for Col is in order because no sufficient evidence was


adduced to implicate him

Based on these acts alone, it cannot be logically inferred that Col conspired
with Bokingco in killing Pasion. At the most, Cols actuations can be
equated to attempted robbery, which was actually the initial information
filed against appellants before it was amended, on motion of the prosecution,
for murder.

Their acts did not reveal a unity of purpose that is to kill Pasion. Bokingco
had already killed Pasion even before he sought Col. Their moves
were not coordinated because while Bokingco was killing Pasion because of
his pent-up anger, Col was attempting to rob the pawnshop.1avvphi1

It only proves, at best, that there were two crimes committed


simultaneously and they were united in their efforts to escape from the
crimes they separately committed.

4. NO,
In as much as Bokingcos extrajudicial confession is inadmissible against him,
it is likewise inadmissible against Col, specifically where he implicated the
latter as a cohort.

Under Section 28, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, the rights of a party
cannot be prejudiced by an act, declaration or omission of another.
Res inter alios acta alteri nocere non debet. Consequently, an extrajudicial
confession is binding only on the confessant, is not admissible
against his or her co-accused, and is considered as hearsay against
them.48 An exception to the res inter alios acta rule is an admission made
by a conspirator.

JAIME DELA CRUZ VS PEOPLE, G.R. No. 200748, July 23, 2014

At 8:00 a.m. of 31 January 2006, the agents and special investigators NBI,
received a Complaint from Corazon Absin (Corazon) and Charito
Escobido (Charito).

The complainants claimed that at 1:00 a.m. of that same day, they were
picked up by police officers for allegedly selling drugs. An errand boy
gave a number to the complainants, and when the latter gave the number a
ring, they were instructed to proceed to the Gorordo Police Office
located Cebu City. In the said police office, they met "James" who
demanded from them P100,000, later lowered to P40,000, in exchange
for the release of Ariel. After the meeting, the complainants proceeded to
the NBI to file a complaint and narrate the circumstances of the meeting
to the authorities.

A team was immediately formed to implement an entrapment operation,


which took place inside a Jollibee branch at the corner of Gen. Maxilom and
Gorordo Avenues, Cebu City. The officers were able to nab Jaime dela
Cruz by using a pre-marked 500 bill dusted with fluorescent powder,
which was made part of the amount demanded by "James" and handed by
Corazon.
Petitioner was later brought to the forensic laboratory of the NBI-CEVRO
where forensic examination was done. Petitioner was required to submit
his urine for drug testing. It later yielded a positive result for presence
of dangerous drugs
ISSUE:

whether or not the drug test conducted upon the petitioner is legal.
RULING:

NO,

In the face of these constitutional guarantees, we cannot condone drug


testing of all arrested persons regardless of the crime or offense for
which the arrest is being made.
In the instant case, we fail to see how a urine sample could be material
to the charge of extortion. The RTC and the CA, therefore, both erred
when they held that the extraction of petitioners urine for purposes of drug
testing was "merely a mechanical act, hence, falling outside the concept of a
custodial investigation."

The drug test in Section 15 does not cover persons apprehended or arrested
for any unlawful act, but only for unlawful acts listed under Article II
of R.A. 9165.

First, "[a] person apprehended or arrested" cannot literally mean any


person apprehended or arrested for any crime.

Note that accused appellant here was arrested in the alleged act of
extortion.

ANALYSIS:

In order to effectively fulfill the intent of the law to rehabilitate drug users,
this Court thus calls on law enforcers and prosecutors in dangerous drugs
cases to exercise proper discretion in filing charges when the presence of
dangerous drugs is only and solely in the form of residue and the
confirmatory test required under Sec. 15 is positive for use of dangerous
drugs. In such cases, to afford the accused a chance to be rehabilitated,
the filing of charges for or involving possession of dangerous drugs
should only be done when another separate quantity of dangerous
drugs, other than mere residue, is found in the possession of the accused
as provided for in Sec. 15.

On a final note, this Court takes the opportunity to be instructive on Sec. 11


(Possession of Dangerous Drugs) and Sec. 15 (Use of Dangerous Drugs) of
R.A. No. 9165

To file charges under Sec. 11 on the basis of residue alone would frustrate
the objective of the law to rehabilitate drug users and provide them
with an opportunity to recover for a second chance at life.

In the case at bench, the presence of dangerous drugs was only in the form of
residue on the drug paraphernalia, and the accused were found positive for
use of dangerous drugs. Granting that the arrest was legal, the evidence
obtained admissible, and the chain of custody intact, the law enforcers should
have filed charges under Sec. 15, R.A. No. 9165 or for use of dangerous drugs
and, if there was no residue at all, they should have been charged under Sec.
14 (Possession of Equipment, Instrument, Apparatus and Other
Paraphernalia for Dangerous Drugs During Parties, Social
Gatherings or Meetings).
ON SELF-INCRIMINATION:

To impose mandatory drug testing on the accused is a blatant attempt to


harness a medical test as a tool for criminal prosecution, contrary to the stated
objectives of RA 6195. Drug testing in this case would violate a
persons right to privacy guaranteed under Sec. 2, Art. III of the
Constitution. Worse still, the accused persons are veritably forced to
incriminate themselves. (Emphasis supplied)

The drug test is not covered by allowable non-testimonial


compulsion.

The constitutional right of an accused against self-incrimination


proscribes the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort
communications from the accused and not the inclusion of his body in
evidence when it may be material.

Purely mechanical acts are not included in the prohibition as the


accused does not thereby speak his guilt, hence the assistance and guiding
hand of counsel is not required. (People vs. Olvis, 238 Phil. 513 [1987])

It has been held that a woman charged with adultery may be compelled
to submit to physical examination to determine her pregnancy;

an accused may be compelled to submit to physical examination and to


have a substance taken from his body for medical determination as to
whether he was suffering from gonorrhea which was contracted by his
victim;

to expel morphine from his mouth;

to have the outline of his foot traced to determine its identity with
bloody footprints;

to be photographed or measured, or his garments or shoes removed or


replaced, or to move his body to enable the foregoing things to be done.

We note a case where a urine sample was considered as admissible. In


Gutang v. People,29 the petitioner therein and his companions were arrested in
connection with the enforcement of a search warrant in his residence.

We emphasize that the circumstances in Gutangare clearly different from


the circumstances of petitioner in the instant case. First, Gutang was
arrested in relation to a drug case. Second, he volunteered to give his
urine. Third, there were other pieces of evidence that point to his
culpability for the crimes charged. In the present case, though, petitioner
was arrested for extortion; he resisted having his urine sample taken; and
finally, his urine sample was the only available evidence that was used as
basis for his conviction for the use of illegal drugs.