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People v.

Tags: criminal procedure, dangerous drugs act, doria, people v. doria, plain view, plain view
doctrine,warrantless arrest, warrantless search

People v. Florencio Doria [“ Jun ”] and Violeta Gaddao [ “Neneth ” ]
22 Jan 1999 / Puno / Appeal from a Pasig RTC decision
Search and seizure > Nature, scope and definition > Types > Warrantless search and seizure > “ Plain
view ” doctrine

Members of the PNP Narcotics Command received information that one “ Jun” [Doria] was engaged in
illegal drug activities, so they decided to entrap and arrest him in a buy-bust operation. He was arrested.
They frisked him but did not find the marked bills on him, and upon inquiry, he revealed that he left it at
the house of his associate “ Neneth ” [Gaddao], so he led the police team to her house.
The team found the door open and a woman inside the house. “ Jun” identified her
as “Neneth, ” and she was asked by SPO1 Badua about the marked money as PO3 Manlangit looked
over her house [he was still outside the house]. Standing by the door, PO3 Manlangit noticed a carton
box under the dining table. One of the box’ s flaps was open, and inside it was something wrapped in
plastic, and it appeared similar to the marijuana earlier sold to him by “ Jun. ” His suspicion aroused, so
he entered the house and took hold of the box. He peeked inside the box and saw 10 bricks of what
appeared to be dried marijuana leaves. SPO1 Badua recovered the marked bills from “ Neneth ” and they
arrested her. The bricks were examined and they were found to be dried marijuana leaves.
Florencio Doria and Violeta Gaddao were charged with violation of RA 6425 [Dangerous Drugs
Act of 1972], Section 4 [Sale, Administration, Delivery, Distribution and Transportation of Prohibited
Drugs] in relation to Section 21 [Attempt and Conspiracy]. RTC convicted them.

WON RTC correctly found that the box of marijuana was in plain view, making its warrantless seizure
valid. NO

Re: warrantless arrest
Gaddao ’s warrantless arrest was illegal because she was arrested solely on the basis of the alleged
identification made by Doria. Doria did not point to her as his associate in the drug business, but as the
person with whom he left the marked bills. This identification does not necessarily mean that Gaddao
conspired with Doria in pushing drugs. If there is no showing that the person who effected the warrantless
arrest had knowledge of facts implicating the person arrested to the perpetration of the criminal offense,
the arrest is legally objectionable.
Since the warrantless arrest of Gaddao was illegal, the search of her person and home and the
subsequent seizure of the marked bills and marijuana cannot be deemed legal as an incident to her

“ Plain view ” issue
Objects falling in plain view of an officer who has a right to be in the position to have that view are subject
to seizure even without a search warrant and may be introduced in evidence.

he admitted that he merely presumed the contents to be marijuana because it had the same plastic wrapping as the "buy-bust marijuana. In a prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs. It was fruit of the poisonous tree and should have been excluded and never considered by the trial court. it was not in plain view and its seizure without the requisite search warrant was in violation of the law and the Constitution. It was not immediately apparent to PO3 Manlangit that the content of the box was marijuana. The discovery of the evidence in plain view is inadvertent c.600.Requisites a. PO3 Manlangit himself admitted on cross-examination that the contents of the box could be items other than marijuana. It is immediately apparent to the officer that the item he observes may be evidence of a crime. the poseur-buyer  Prosecution failed to prove that Gaddao conspired with accused-appellant Doria in the sale of said drug DORIA SENTENCED TO SUFFER RECLUSION PERPETUA + 500K FINE GADDAO ACQUITTED . however.white. The fact that the box containing about 6 kilos of marijuana was found in Gaddao ’s house Gaddao does not justify a finding that she herself is guilty of the crime charged.00 he received. Doria sold and delivered 970 grams of marijuana to PO3 Manlangit. The difficulty arises when the object is inside a closed container. PO3 Manlangit said that he was sure that the contents of the box were marijuana because he himself checked and marked the said contents. The law enforcement officer in search of the evidence has a prior justification for an intrusion or is in a position from which he can view a particular area b. then the article is deemed in plain view. the object itself is not in plain view and therefore cannot be seized without a warrant. On cross-examination.  Prosecution established the fact that in consideration of the P1. In his direct examination. contraband or otherwise subject to seizure. He did not know exactly what the box contained that he had to ask appellant Gaddao about its contents. hence. pink or blue in color." Each of the ten bricks of marijuana in the box was individually wrapped in old newspaper and placed inside plastic bags-. Where the object seized was inside a closed package. It must be immediately apparent to the police that the items that they observe may be evidence of a crime. If the package is such that an experienced observer could infer from its appearance that it contains the prohibited article. what is material is the submission of proof that the sale took place between the poseur-buyer and the seller and the presentation of the drug as evidence in court. contraband or otherwise subject to seizure An object is in plain view if the object itself is plainly exposed to sight.