PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ARTURO LARA Y.

ORBISTA
G.R. No. 199877; 13 August 2012
FACTS:
On or about 31 May 2001 in Pasig City, the accused, armed with a gun,
conspired and confederated with an unidentified person and with violence and
intimidation, stole and divested from one Joselito M. Bautista cash amounting to
P230,000.00 and shot and assaulted the same inflicting several wounds which led to
the his death. The money belonged to San Sebastian Allied Services, represented by
the witness Enrique Sumulong. On the said date, Sumulong was accompanied by
Virgilio Manacob, Jeff Atie, and the deceased after withdrawing the money
supposedly for the salary of the company’s employees.
The accused pleaded not guilty and the trial commenced. During the course
of the trial, the prosecution presented several witnesses including Enrique
Sumulong, SPO1 Cruz, and PO3 Calix.
The first witness testified that on 07 June 2001, while on his way to barangay
San Miguel in Pasig City, he saw the accused walking in Dr. Pilapil Street. He then
alerted the other witnesses about this incident. Consequently, Sumulong, together
with four (4) policemen, went to the said street and positively identified the
accused. Having confirmed the identity of the accused, the police approached him
and invited him at the police station for questioning. The accused was then placed
in a police lineup and there, Manacob and Atie attested that it was really the
accused who robbed and killed the deceased. Thereafter, the accused was informed
of his rights and subsequently detained.
In his defense, the accused stated that on the said date of the robbery, he
was at his house fixing a sewer trench. Finding this as a weak alibi, the Court
considered the vicinity of his residence and the crime scene located in the same
barangay, the RTC convicted him of robbery with homicide.
On appeal, the accused raised several errors including the argument that he
was not assisted by counsel when the police placed him on the lineup, which
according to him, was a flagrant violation of his right under Section 12, Article III of
the constitution.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Lara was denied his right to counsel thereby making his arrest
illegal, making it a sufficient ground to invalidate the proceedings.
HELD:
No. Since the contention of Lara was a belated invocation, the court did not
find merit on his appeal. Any objections to the legality of the warrantless arrest
should have been raised in a motion to quash duly filed before the accused entered
his plea; otherwise, it is deemed waived. Furthermore, the Court held that the illegal

arrest is not a ground to set aside conviction duly arrived at and based on evidence that sufficiently establishes his culpability. the Court dismissed the same stating that there was no legal compulsion to afford him a counsel because the police lineup was not part of the custodial investigation. As regards his claim that he was denied a counsel. .