You are on page 1of 1


Magoncia v Palacio license is flagrant violation of the law and the holder is subject to an arrest
G.R. No. L-1486 without a warrant and the item may be seized.
DATE: April 26, 1948 - There is a wide distinction between the seizure of property
By: EAY3 lawfully within the possession of a person and the seizure of
Topic: property held and used in violation of law. Thus contraband
Petitioners: Zacarias Magoncia articles, and those things which under the law one has no right
Respondents: Perfecto Palacio to possess, for the purpose of issue or disposition, are not
Ponente:, PABLO, J. embraced in the protection of the constitutional guaranty.
Indeed, an individual in the possession of such goods is entitled
FACTS: to no protection whatsoever, for such goods are not subject to
 Zacarias Magoncia was arrested for the crime of robbery by a band ownership, and may be forfeited or destroyed. They are,
committed at the home of Hilario Enovejas in Pangasinan. therefore, subject to search and seizure.
 The police chief ordered 4 policemen to go to Magoncia's home.
Perfecto (Concurring):
 These policemen, without a search warrant, entered Magoncia's house
where Magoncia's wife objected to the searched and scolded them for  The search of Magoncia's house without a search warrant is illegal. The
searching their home while Magoncia was not around. policemen who conducted the search violated one of the fundamental
guarantees of the Bill of Rights; they should be held accountable for their
 The policemen found a paltik, a hand grenade, a box containing 42 rounds
and some pieces of cotton cloth owned by Hilario Enovejas. A complaint of
robbery by a band and illegal possession of firearm were filed against the  However, the trial judge acted correctly in denying Magoncia's motion that
the items be returned to him and not be used as evidence. To order the
return of the prohibited weapons to Magoncia is to justify an illegality or
 For the complaint of illegal possession of firearms, Magoncia filed a motion
criminal offense. The illegality of the search is independent from the illegal
asking the trial court to order the return of the illegally seized effects and
possession of prohibited arms. The illegality of the search did not make
to order the Fiscal (Palacio) to desist from using such effects as evidence.
legal an illegal possession of firearms. When, in pursuing an illegal action
 The trial court denied the motion. Defendant now comes to the Supreme
or in the commission of a criminal offense, the offending police officers
Court on certiorari and requests to revoke the order of the trial court judge
should happen to discover a criminal offense being committed by any
and to order the fiscal to desist from using the seized items as evidence for
persons, they are not precluded from performing their duties as police
the reason that they have been illegally seized.
officers for the apprehension of the guilty persons and the taking of
the corpus delicti.
ISSUE: W/N the seized items should be returned - NO

 RA No. 4 prohibits the possession of firearm; the mere possession is a
crime. Possession of contraband is punishable by law. The Constitution
does not guarantee immunity to a smuggler. Return of the items to the
defendant and to prevent them from being presented as evidence is to
exonerate the crime punished by RA No. 4.
 Possession of a thing susceptible to legal appropriation and subject of free
trade, like a clock, is different from a box of firearms whose possession is
prohibited. In the first case, it should invoke the guarantee against
unreasonable searches and seizure, but possession of a firearm without a