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Stonehill vs.

Diokno violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, to
20 SCRA 383 (GR No. L-19550) be determined by the judge after examination under oath or
June 19, 1967 affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce,
Facts: Upon application of the prosecutors (respondent) several and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
judges (respondent) issued on different dates a total of 42 search persons or things to be seized.
warrants against petitioners (Stonehill et. al.) and/or corporations
of which they were officers to search the persons of the petitioner Two points must be stressed in connection with this constitutional
and/or premises of their officers warehouses and/or residences mandate, namely: (1) that no warrant shall issue but upon
and to seize and take possession of the personal property which is probable cause, to be determined by the judge in the manner set
the subject of the offense, stolen, or embezzled and proceeds of forth in said provision; and (2) that the warrant
fruits of the offense, or used or intended to be used or the means shall particularly describe the things to be seized.
of committing the offense, which is described in the application as
Search warrants issued upon applications stating that the natural
violation of Central Bank Laws, Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal
and juridical person therein named had committed a "violation of
Revenue Code and the Revised Penal Code.
Central Ban Laws, Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal Revenue
Petitioners filed with the Supreme Court this original action for (Code) and Revised Penal Code." In other words, no specific offense
certiorari, prohibition and mandamus and injunction and prayed had been alleged in said applications. The averments thereof with
that, pending final disposition of the case, a writ of preliminary respect to the offense committed were abstract. As a
injunction be issued against the prosecutors, their agents and consequence, it was impossible for the judges who issued the
representatives from using the effect seized or any copies thereof, warrants to have found the existence of probable cause, for the
in the deportation case and that thereafter, a decision be rendered same presupposes the introduction of competent proof that the
quashing the contested search warrants and declaring the same party against whom it is sought has performed particular acts, or
null and void. For being violative of the constitution and the Rules committed specific omissions, violating a given provision of our
of court by: (1) not describing with particularity the documents, criminal laws.
books and things to be seized; (2) money not mentioned in the
General search warrants are outlawed because the sanctity of the
warrants were seized; (3) the warrants were issued to fish evidence
domicile and the privacy of communication and correspondence at
for deportation cases filed against the petitioner; (4) the searches
the mercy of the whims caprice or passion of peace officers.
and seizures were made in an illegal manner; and (5) the
documents paper and cash money were not delivered to the To prevent the issuance of general warrants this Court deemed it
issuing courts for disposal in accordance with law. fit to amend Section 3 of Rule 122 of the former Rules of Court by
providing in its counterpart, under the Revised Rules of Court that
In their answer, the prosecutors (respondent) alleged; (1) search
"a search warrant shall not issue but upon probable cause in
warrants are valid and issued in accordance with law; (2) defects of
connection with one specific offense." Not satisfied with this
said warrants, were cured by petitioners consent; and (3) in any
qualification, the Court added thereto a paragraph, directing that
event the effects are admissible regardless of the irregularity.
"no search warrant shall issue for more than one specific offense."
The Court granted the petition and issued the writ of preliminary
Seizure of books and records showing all business transaction of
injunction. However by a resolution, the writ was partially lifted
petitioners persons, regardless of whether the transactions were
dissolving insofar as paper and things seized from the offices of the
legal or illegal contravened the explicit command of our Bill of
Rights - that the things to be seized be particularly described - as
Issues: 1.) Whether or not the petitioners have the legal standing well as tending to defeat its major objective the elimination of
to assail the legality of search warrants issued against the general warrants.
corporation of which they were officers.
III Most common law jurisdiction have already given up the
2.) Whether or not the search warrants issued partakes the nature Moncado ruling and eventually adopted the exclusionary
of a general search warrants. rule, realizing that this is the only practical means of enforcing the
constitutional injunction against unreasonable searches and
3.) Whether or not the seized articles were admissible as evidence seizures. In the language of Judge Learned Hand:
regardless of the illegality of its seizure.
As we understand it, the reason for the exclusion of evidence
Held: Officers of certain corporations, from which the documents, competent as such, which has been unlawfully acquired, is that
papers, things were seized by means of search warrants, exclusion is the only practical way of enforcing the constitutional
have no cause of action to assail the legality of the contested privilege. In earlier times the action of trespass against the
warrants and of the seizures made in pursuance thereof, for the offending official may have been protection enough; but that is
simple reason that said corporations have their respective true no longer. Only in case the prosecution which itself controls
personalities, separate and distinct from the personality of herein the seizing officials, knows that it cannot profit by their wrong will
petitioners, regardless of the amount of shares of stock or of the that wrong be repressed.
interest of each of them in said corporations, and whatever the
offices they hold therein may be. Indeed, it is well settled that the The non-exclusionary rule is contrary, not only to the letter, but
legality of a seizure can be contested only by the party whose rights also, to the spirit of the constitutional injunction against
have been impaired thereby, and that the objection to an unlawful unreasonable searches and seizures. To be sure, if the applicant for
search and seizure is purely personal and cannot be availed of by a search warrant has competent evidence to establish probable
third parties. cause of the commission of a given crime by the party against
whom the warrant is intended, then there is no reason why the
Officers of certain corporations can not validly object to the use in applicant should not comply with the requirements of the
evidence against them of the documents, papers and things seized fundamental law. Upon the other hand, if he has no such
from the offices and premises of the corporations adverted to competent evidence, then it is not possible for the Judge to find
above, since the right to object to the admission of said papers in that there is probable cause, and, hence, no justification for the
evidence belongs exclusively to the corporations, to whom the issuance of the warrant. The only possible explanation (not
seized effects belong, and may not be invoked by the corporate justification) for its issuance is the necessity of fishing evidence of
officers in proceedings against them in their individual capacity. the commission of a crime. But, then, this fishing expedition is
indicative of the absence of evidence to establish a probable cause.
II The Constitution provides:
The Court held that the doctrine adopted in the Moncado case
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, must be, as it is hereby, abandoned; that the warrants for the
and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be search of three (3) residences of herein petitioners, as specified in
the Resolution of June 29, 1962, are null and void; that the searches revealed that there was an underground safehouse at Gracia
and seizures therein made are illegal; that the writ of preliminary Village in Urdaneta, Pangasinan. After coordinating with the
injunction heretofore issued, in connection with the documents, Station Commander of Urdaneta, the group proceeded to the
papers and other effects thus seized in said residences of herein house in Gracia Village. They found subversive documents, a radio,
petitioners is hereby made permanent; that the writs prayed for a 1 x 7 caliber .45 firearm and other items.
are granted, insofar as the documents, papers and other effects so
seized in the aforementioned residences are concerned; that the After the raid, the group proceeded to Bonuan, Dagupan City, and
aforementioned motion for Reconsideration and Amendment put under surveillance the rented apartment of Rosemarie
should be, as it is hereby, denied; and that the petition herein is Aritumba, sister of Berlina Aritumba whom they earlier arrested.
dismissed and the writs prayed for denied, as regards the They interviewed Luzviminda Morados, a visitor of Rosemarie
documents, papers and other effects seized in the twenty-nine (29) Aritumba. She stated that she worked with Bernie Mendoza/Basilio
places, offices and other premises enumerated in the same Damaso. She guided the group to the house rented by Damaso
Resolution, without special pronouncement as to costs. (@Mendoza). When they reached the house, the group found that
it had already vacated by the occupants. Since Morados was
Stonehill vs Diokno 20 SCRA 383 hesitant to give the new address of Damaso (@Mendoza), the
group looked for the Barangay Captain of the place and requested
Facts: Respondents herein secured a total of 42 search warrants him to point out the new house rented by Damaso (@Mendoza).
against petitioners herein and/or the corporations of which they
were officers, to search “books of accounts, financial records, The group again required Morados to go with them. When they
vouchers, correspondence, receipts, ledgers, journals, portfolios, reached the house, the group saw Luz Tanciangco outside. They
credit journals, typewriters, and other documents and/or papers told her that they already knew that she was a member of the NPA
showing all business transactions including disbursements receipts, in the area. At first, she denied it, but when she saw Morados she
balance sheets and profit and loss statements and Bobbins requested the group to go inside the house. Upon entering the
(cigarette wrappers),” as “the subject of the offense; stolen or house, the group, as well as the Barangay Captain, saw radio sets,
embezzled and proceeds or fruits of the offense,” or “used or pamphlets entitled "Ang Bayan," xerox copiers and a computer
intended to be used as the means of committing the offense,” machine. They also found persons who were companions of Luz
which is described in the applications adverted to above as Tanciangco (namely, Teresita Calosa, Ricardo Calosa, Marites
“violation of Central Bank Laws, Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal Calosa, Eric Tanciangco and Luzviminda Morados).
Revenue (Code) and the Revised Penal Code.”
The group requested the persons in the house to allow them to
The documents, papers, and things seized under the alleged look around. When Luz Tanciangco opened one of the rooms, they
authority of the warrants in question may be split into two (2) saw books used for subversive orientation, one M-14 rifle, bullets
major groups, namely: (a) those found and seized in the offices of and ammunitions, Kenwood radio, artificial beard, maps of the
the aforementioned corporations, and (b) those found and seized Philippines, Zambales, Mindoro and Laguna and other items. They
in the residences of petitioners herein. confiscated the articles and brought them to their headquarters for
final inventory. They likewise brought the persons found in the
Issue: Whether petitioners can validly assail the search warrant house to the headquarters for investigation. Said persons revealed
against the corporation. that Damaso (@Mendoza) was the lessee of the house and owned
the items confiscated therefrom. Thus, Basilio Damaso, was
Held: No. As regards the first group, we hold that petitioners herein
originally charged in an information filed before the Regional Trial
have no cause of action to assail the legality of the contested
Court of Dagupan City with violation of Presidential Decree 1866 in
warrants and of the seizures made in pursuance thereof, for the
furtherance of, or incident to, or in connection with the crime of
simple reason that said corporations have their respective
subversion, together with Luzviminda Morados y Galang @ Ka Mel,
personalities, separate and distinct from the personality of herein
Teresita Calosa y Macabangon @ Ka Tessie, Ricardo Calosa y Perez
petitioners, regardless of the amount of shares of stock or of the
@ Ka Ric, Marites Calosa y Evangelista @ Ka Tess, Eric Tanciangco
interest of each of them in said corporations, and whatever the
y Capira @ Ka Ric and Luz Tanciangco y Pencial @ Ka Luz.
offices they hold therein may be. Indeed, it is well settled that the
legality of a seizure can be contested only by the party whose rights
have been impaired thereby, and that the objection to an unlawful
search and seizure is purely personal and cannot be availed of by Such information was later amended to exclude all other persons
third parties. Consequently, petitioners herein may not validly except Damaso from the criminal charge. Upon arraignment,
object to the use in evidence against them of the documents, Damaso pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. Trial on the merits
papers and things seized from the offices and premises of the ensued. The prosecution rested its case and offered its exhibits for
corporations adverted to above, since the right to object to the admission. The defense counsel interposed his objections to the
admission of said papers in evidence belongs exclusively to the admissibility of the prosecution's evidence on grounds of its being
corporations, to whom the seized effects belong, and may not be hearsay, immaterial or irrelevant and illegal for lack of a search
invoked by the corporate officers in proceedings against them in warrant; and thereafter, manifested that he was not presenting
their individual capacity. any evidence for the accused. On 17 January 1990, the trial court
rendered its decision, finding Damaso guilty beyond reasonable
People of the Philippines vs. Damaso, G.R. No. 93516, Aug. 12, doubt, sentencing the latter to suffer the penalty of Reclusion
1992 Perpetua and to pay the costs of the proceedings. Damaso
Keywords: invalid search and seizure, NPA, coerced into agreeing
to search premises Issue: Whether there was waiver on the part of Damaso to allow
the warrantless search of his house.
Summary: Trial Court - finds accused Basilio Damaso alias
Bernardo/Bernie Mendoza alias Ka Dado guilty beyond reasonable Ratio: Damaso was singled out as the sole violator of PD 1866, in
doubt of Violation of Presidential Decree Number 1866; SC - furtherance of, or incident to, or in connection with the crime of
REVERSED and the appellant is ACQUITTED subversion. There is no substantial and credible evidence to
establish the fact that the appellant is allegedly the same person as
Facts: On 18 June 1988, Lt. Candido Quijardo, a Philippine
the lessee of the house where the M-14 rifle and other subversive
Constabulary officer connected with the 152nd PC Company at
items were found or the owner of the said items. Even assuming
Lingayen, Pangasinan, and some companions were sent to verify
for the sake of argument that Damaso is the lessee of the
the presence of CPP/NPA members in Barangay Catacdang,
house, the case against him still will not prosper, the reason being
Arellano-Bani, Dagupan City. In said place, the group apprehended
that the law enforcers failed to comply with the requirements of
Gregorio Flameniano, Berlina Aritumba, Revelina Gamboa and
a valid search and seizure proceedings. The constitutional
Deogracias Mayaoa. When interrogated, the persons apprehended
immunity from unreasonable searches and seizures, being a On 5 March 1990, WATEROUS Supervisor Luzviminda Bautro,
personal one cannot he waived by anyone except the person issued a memorandum notifying Catolico of her termination. On 5
whose rights are invaded or one who is expressly authorized to do May 1990, Catolico filed before the Office of the Labor Arbiter a
so in his or her . The records show that Damaso was not in his house complaint for unfair labor practice, illegal dismissal, and illegal
at that time Luz Tanciangco and Luz Morados, his alleged helper, suspension. In his decision of 10 May 1993, Labor Arbiter Alex
allowed the authorities to enter it. There is no evidence that would Arcadio Lopez found no proof of unfair labor practice against
establish the fact that Luz Morados was indeed Damaso's helper or petitioners. Nevertheless, he decided in favor of Catolico because
if it was true that she was his helper, that Damaso had given her petitioners failed to "prove what alleged as complainant's
authority to open his house in his absence. The prosecution dishonesty," and to show that any investigation was conducted.
likewise failed to show if Luz Tanciangco has such an authority. Hence, the dismissal was without just cause and due process. He
Without this evidence, the authorities' intrusion into Damaso's thus declared the dismissal and suspension illegal but disallowed
dwelling cannot be given any color of legality. While the power to reinstatement.
search and seize is necessary to the public welfare, still it must be
exercised and the law enforced without transgressing the Petitioners seasonably appealed from the decision and urged the
constitutional rights of the citizens, for the enforcement of no NLRC to set it aside because the Labor Arbiter erred in finding that
statute is of sufficient importance to justify indifference to the Catolico was denied due process and that there was no just cause
basic principles of government. As a consequence, the search to terminate her services.
conducted by the authorities was illegal. It would have been
In its decision of 30 September 1993, the NLRC affirmed the
different if the situation here demanded urgency which could have
findings of the Labor Arbiter on the ground that petitioners were
prompted the authorities to dispense with a search warrant. But
not able to prove a just cause for Catolico's dismissal from her
the record is silent on this point. The fact that they came to
employment. It found that petitioner's evidence consisted only of
Damaso's house at nighttime, does not grant them the license to
the check of P640.00 drawn by YSP in favor of complainant, which
go inside his house.
her co-employee saw when the latter opened the envelope. But, it
Ruling: ACCORDINGLY, the decision appealed from is hereby declared that the check was inadmissible in evidence pursuant to
REVERSED and the appellant is ACQUITTED with costs de oficio. Sections 2 and 3(1 and 2) of Article III of the Constitution. It
Waterous Drug Vs. NLRC [280 SCRA 735 ; G.R.No. 113271; 16 Oct
1997] With the smoking gun evidence of respondents being rendered
inadmissible, by virtue of the constitutional right invoked by
Facts: Catolico was hired as a pharmacist by petitioner Waterous complainants, respondents' case falls apart as it is bereft of
Drug Corporation on 15 August 1988. On 31 July 1989, Catolico evidence which cannot be used as a legal basis for complainant's
received a memorandum from WATEROUS Vice President-General dismissal.
Manager Emma R. Co warning her not to dispense medicine to
employees chargeable to the latter's accounts because the same The NLRC then dismissed the appeal for lack of merit, but modified
was a prohibited practice. On the same date, Co issued another the dispositive portion of the appealed decision by deleting the
memorandum to Catolico warning her not to negotiate with award for illegal suspension as the same was already included in
suppliers of medicine without consulting the Purchasing the computation of the aggregate of the awards in the amount of
Department, as this would impair the company's control of P35,401.86.
purchases and, besides she was not authorized to deal directly with
Issue: Whether or Not the dismissal of the private respondent
the suppliers.
is in violation of the Constitution, under the Bill of Rights.
As regards the first memorandum, Catolico did not deny her
Held: As to the first and second grounds, petitioners insist that
responsibility but explained that her act was "due to negligence,"
Catolico had been receiving "commissions" from YSP, or probably
since fellow employee Irene Soliven "obtained the medicines in bad
from other suppliers, and that the check issued to her on 9
faith and through misrepresentation when she claimed that she
November 1989 was not the first or the last. They also maintained
was given a charge slip by the Admitting Dept." Catolico then asked
that Catolico occupied a confidential position and that Catolico's
the company to look into the fraudulent activities of Soliven.
receipt of YSP's check, aggravated by her "propensity to violate
In a memorandum dated 21 November 1989, WATEROUS company rules," constituted breach of confidence. And contrary to
Supervisor Luzviminda E. Bautro warned Catolico against the "rush the findings of NLRC, Catolico was given ample opportunity to
delivery of medicines without the proper documents." On 29 explain her side of the controversy.
January 1990, WATEROUS Control Clerk Eugenio Valdez informed
In her Comment, Catolico asserts that petitioners' evidence is too
Co that he noticed an irregularity involving Catolico and Yung Shin
"flimsy" to justify her dismissal. The check in issue was given to her,
Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
and she had no duty to turn it over to her employer. Company rules
Forthwith, in her memorandum dated 37 January 1990, Co asked do not prohibit an employee from accepting gifts from clients, and
Catolico to explain, within twenty-four hours, her side of the there is no indication in the contentious check that it was meant as
reported irregularity. Catolico asked for additional time to give her a refund for overpriced medicines. Besides, the check was
explanation, and she was granted a 48-hour extension from 1 to 3 discovered in violation of the constitutional provision on the right
February 1990. However, on 2 February 1990, she was informed to privacy and communication; hence, as correctly held by the
that effective 6 February 1990 to 7 March 1990, she would be NLRC, it was inadmissible in evidence.
placed on preventive suspension to protect the interests of the
Catolico was denied due process. Procedural due process requires
that an employee be apprised of the charge against him, given
In a letter dated 2 February 1990, Catolico requested access to the reasonable time to answer the charge, allowed ample opportunity
file containing Sales Invoice No. 266 for her to be able to make a to be heard and defend himself, and assisted by a representative if
satisfactory explanation. In said letter she protested Saldaña's the employee so desires. Ample opportunity connotes every kind
invasion of her privacy when Saldaña opened an envelope of assistance that management must accord the employee to
addressed to Catolico. enable him to prepare adequately for his defense, including legal
representation. In the case at bar, although Catolico was given an
In a letter to Co dated 10 February 1990, Catolico, through her opportunity to explain her side, she was dismissed from the service
counsel, explained that the check she received from YSP was a in the memorandum of 5 March 1990 issued by her Supervisor after
Christmas gift and not a "refund of overprice." She also averred receipt of her letter and that of her counsel. No hearing was ever
that the preventive suspension was ill-motivated, as it sprang from conducted after the issues were joined through said letters.
an earlier incident between her and Co's secretary, Irene Soliven.
Catolico was also unjustly dismissed. It is settled that the burden is Issue: Whether the drug confiscated is admissible in evidence
on the employer to prove just and valid cause for dismissing an against accused.
employee, and its failure to discharge that burden would result in
a finding that the dismissal is unjustified. It clearly appears then Held: As held by this Court in the case of People v. Marti, [i]n
that Catolico's dismissal was based on hearsay information. the absence of governmental interference, liberties guaranteed by
Catolico's dismissal then was obviously grounded on mere the Constitution cannot be invoked against the State. The
suspicion, which in no case can justify an employee's dismissal. constitutional proscription against unlawful searches and seizures
Suspicion is not among the valid causes provided by the Labor Code applies as a restraint directed only against the government and
for the termination of employment; and even the dismissal of an its agencies tasked with the enforcement of the law. Thus, it could
employee for loss of trust and confidence must rest on substantial only be invoked against the State to whom the restraint against
grounds and not on the employer's arbitrariness, whims, caprices, arbitrary and unreasonable exercise of power is imposed.
or suspicion. Besides, Catolico was not shown to be a managerial
In the case before us, the baggage of the accused-appellant was
employee, to which class of employees the term "trust and
searched by the vessel security personnel. It was only after they
confidence" is restricted.
found shabu inside the suitcase that they called the Philippine
As regards the constitutional violation upon which the NLRC Coast Guard for assistance. The search and seizure of the suitcase
anchored its decision, that the Bill of Rights does not protect and the contraband items was therefore carried out without
citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures perpetrated by government intervention, and hence, the constitutional protection
private individuals. It is not true, as counsel for Catolico claims, that against unreasonable search and seizure does not apply.
the citizens have no recourse against such assaults. On the
There is no merit in the contention of the accused-appellant that
contrary, and as said counsel admits, such an invasion gives rise to
the search and seizure performed by the vessel security personnel
both criminal and civil liabilities.
should be considered as one conducted by the police authorities
Finally, since it has been determined by the Labor Arbiter that for like the latter, the former are armed and tasked to maintain
Catolico's reinstatement would not be to the best interest of the peace and order. The vessel security officer in the case at bar is
parties, he correctly awarded separation pay to Catolico. a private employee and does not discharge any governmental
Separation pay in lieu of reinstatement is computed at one month's function. In contrast, police officers are agents of the state tasked
salary for every year of service. In this case, however, Labor Arbiter with the sovereign function of enforcement of the law. Historically
Lopez computed the separation pay at one-half month's salary for and until now, it is against them and other agents of the state that
every year of service. Catolico did not oppose or raise an objection. the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures may be
As such, we will uphold the award of separation pay as fixed by the invoked.
Labor Arbiter.
A violation of one’s constitutional right against illegal search and
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED and the seizure can be the basis for the recovery of damages under Article
challenged decision and resolution of the National Labor Relations 32 in relation to Article 2219(6) and (10) of the New Civil Code.
Commission dated 30 September 1993 and 2 December 1993,
Burgos, Sr. v. Chief of Staff, AFP [133 SCRA 800; G.R. No. 64261; 26
respectively, in NLRC-NCR CA No. 005160-93 are AFFIRMED, except
Dec 1984]
as to its reason for upholding the Labor Arbiter's decision, viz., that
the evidence against private respondent was inadmissible for Facts: Petitioners assail the validity of 2 search warrants issued on
having been obtained in violation of her constitutional rights of December 7, 1982 by respondent Judge Cruz-Pano of the then
privacy of communication and against unreasonable searches and Court of First Instance of Rizal, under which the premises known as
seizures which is hereby set aside. No. 19, Road 3, Project 6, Quezon City, and 784 Units C & D, RMS
Building, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, business addresses of the
People vs Bongcarawan G.R. No. 143944. July 11, 2002
"Metropolitan Mail" and "We Forum" newspapers, respectively,
Facts: The security officer of Super Ferry 5, Mark Diesmo, received were searched, and office and printing machines, equipment,
a complaint from passenger Lorena Canoy about her missing paraphernalia, motor vehicles and other articles used in the
jewelry. Canoy suspected one of her co-passengers at cabin no. 106 printing, publication and distribution of the said newspapers, as
as the culprit. Diesmo and four (4) other members of the vessel well as numerous papers, documents, books and other written
security force accompanied Canoy to search for the suspect whom literature alleged to be in the possession and control of petitioner
they later found at the economy section. The suspect was Jose Burgos, Jr. publisher-editor of the "We Forum" newspaper,
identified as the accused, Basher Bongcarawan. Bongcarawan was were seized. As a consequence of the search and seizure, these
informed of the complaint and was invited to go back to cabin no. premises were padlocked and sealed, with the further result that
106. With his consent, he was bodily searched, but no jewelry was the printing and publication of said newspapers were discontinued.
found. He was then escorted by two (2) security agents back to the Respondents contend that petitioners should have filed a motion
economy section to get his baggage. The accused took a Samsonite to quash said warrants in the court that issued them before
suitcase and brought this back to the cabin. When requested by the impugning the validity of the same before this Court. Respondents
security, the accused opened the suitcase, revealing a brown also assail the petition on ground of laches (Failure or negligence
bag and small plastic packs containing white crystalline substance. for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time to do that
Suspecting the substance to be shabu, the security personnel which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done
immediately reported the matter to the ship captain and took earlier. It is negligence or omission to assert a right within a
pictures of the accused beside the suitcase and its contents. They reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled
also called the Philippine Coast Guard for assistance. The Philippine to assert it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it).
Coast Guard arrived and took custody of the accused and the seized Respondents further state that since petitioner had already used as
items. NBI Forensic Chemist later confirmed the substance to be evidence some of the documents seized in a prior criminal case, he
shabu. Accused was convicted of violation of Dangerous Drugs Act. is stopped from challenging the validity of the search warrants.

Bongcarawan appealed, arguing that the Samsonite suitcase Petitioners submit the following reasons to nullify the questioned
containing the shabu was forcibly opened and searched without his warrants:
consent, and hence, in violation of his constitutional right against
1. Respondent Judge failed to conduct an examination
unreasonable search and seizure. Any evidence acquired pursuant
under oath or affirmation of the applicant and his
to such unlawful search and seizure, he claims, is inadmissible in
witnesses, as mandated by the above-quoted
evidence against him. He also contends that People v. Marti is
constitutional provision as well as Sec. 4, Rule 126 of the
not applicable in this case because a vessel security personnel is
Rules of Court.
deemed to perform the duties of a policeman.
2. The search warrants pinpointed only one address which convince the committing magistrate, not the individual
would be the former abovementioned address. making the affidavit and seeking the issuance of the
warrant, of the existence of probable cause." Another
3. Articles belonging to his co-petitioners were also seized factor which makes the search warrants under
although the warrants were only directed against Jose consideration constitutionally objectionable is that they
Burgos, Jr. are in the nature of general warrants. The description
of the articles sought to be seized under the search
4. Real properties were seized.
warrants in question are too general.
5. The application along with a joint affidavit, upon which
With regard to the respondents invoking PD 885, there is an
the warrants were issued, from the Metrocom
absence of any implementing rules and regulations promulgated by
Intelligence and Security Group could not have provided
the Minister of National Defense. Furthermore, President Marcos
sufficient basis for the finding of a probable cause upon
himself denies the request of military authorities to sequester the
which a warrant may be validly issued in accordance
property seized from petitioners. The closure of the premises
with Section 3, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution.
subjected to search and seizure is contrary to the freedom of the
Respondents justify the continued sealing of the printing machines press as guaranteed in our fundamental law. The search warrants
on the ground that they have been sequestered under Section 8 of are declared null and void.
Presidential Decree No. 885, as amended, which authorizes
People vs. Inting [GR 88919, 25 July 1990]
sequestration of the property of any person engaged in subversive
activities against the government in accordance with implementing Facts: On 6 February 1988, Mrs. Editha Barba filed a letter-
rules and regulations as may be issued by the Secretary of National complaint against OIC-Mayor Dominador S. Regalado Jr. of Tanjay,
Defense. Negros Oriental with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), for
allegedly transferring her, a permanent Nursing Attendant, Grade
Issue: Whether or Not the 2 search warrants were validly issued
I, in the office of the Municipal Mayor to a very remote barangay
and executed.
and without obtaining prior permission or clearance from
Held: In regard to the quashal of warrants that petitioners should COMELEC as required by law. Acting on the complaint, COMELEC
have initially filed to the lower court, this Court takes cognizance of directed Atty. Gerardo Lituanas, Provincial Election Supervision of
this petition in view of the seriousness and urgency of the Dumaguete City: (1) to conduct the preliminary investigation of the
constitutional Issue raised, not to mention the public interest case; (2) to prepare and file the necessary information in court; (3)
generated by the search of the "We Forum" offices which was to handle the prosecution if the evidence submitted shows a prima
televised in Channel 7 and widely publicized in all metropolitan facie case and (3) to issue a resolution of prosecution or dismissal
dailies. The existence of this special circumstance justifies this as the case may be. After a preliminary investigation of Barba's
Court to exercise its inherent power to suspend its rules. With the complaint, Atty. Lituanas found a prima facie case. Hence, on 26
contention pertaining to laches, the petitioners gave an September 1988, he filed with the Regional Trial Court (Branch 38.
explanation evidencing that they have exhausted other extra- Dumaguete City) a criminal case for violation of section 261,
judicial efforts to remedy the situation, negating the presumption Paragraph (h), Omnibus Election Code against the OIC-Mayor. In an
that they have abandoned their right to the possession of the Order dated 30 September 1988, the court issued a warrant of
seized property. arrest against the OIC Mayor. It also fixed the bail at P5,000.00 as
recommended by the Provincial Election Supervisor. However, in
On the enumerated reasons: an order dated 3 October 1988 and before the accused could be
arrested, the trial court set aside its 30 September 1988 order on
1. This objection may properly be considered moot and the ground that Atty. Lituanas is not authorized to determine
academic, as petitioners themselves conceded during probable cause pursuant to Section 2, Article III of the 1987
the hearing on August 9, 1983, that an examination had Constitution. The court stated that it "will give due course to the
indeed been conducted by respondent judge of Col. information filed in this case if the same has the written approval
Abadilla and his witnesses. of the Provincial Fiscal after which the prosecution of the case shall
be under the supervision and control of the latter." In another
2. The defect pointed out is obviously a typographical
order dated 22 November 1988, the court gave Atty. Lituanas 15
error. Precisely, two search warrants were applied for
days from receipt to file another information charging the same
and issued because the purpose and intent were to
offense with the written approval of the Provincial Fiscal. Atty.
search two distinct premises. It would be quite absurd
Lituanas failed to comply with the order. Hence, in an order dated
and illogical for respondent judge to have issued two
8 December 1988, the trial court quashed the information. A
warrants intended for one and the same place.
motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence, the petition.
3. Section 2, Rule 126, of the Rules of Court, does not
Issue: Whether the approval of the Provincial Fiscal is necessary
require that the property to be seized should be owned
before the information filed by the Provincial Election Supervisor
by the person against whom the search warrant is
may be given due course by the trial court.
directed. It may or may not be owned by him.
Held: As to the constitutional mandate that "xx no search warrant
4. Petitioners do not claim to be the owners of the land
or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be
and/or building on which the machineries were placed.
determined personally by the judge xx," (Article III, Section 2,
This being the case, the machineries in question, while
Constitution) the determination of probable cause is a function of
in fact bolted to the ground, remain movable property
the Judge. It is not for the Provincial Fiscal or Prosecutor nor for the
susceptible to seizure under a search warrant.
Election Supervisor to ascertain. Only the Judge and the Judge
5. The broad statements in the application and joint alone makes this determination. On the other hand, the
affidavit are mere conclusions of law and does not preliminary inquiry made by a Prosecutor does not bind the Judge.
satisfy the requirements of probable cause. Deficient of It merely assists him to make the determination of probable cause.
such particulars as would justify a finding of the The Judge does not have to follow what the Prosecutor presents to
existence of probable cause, said allegation cannot him. By itself, the Prosecutor's certification of probable cause is
serve as basis for the issuance of a search warrant and ineffectual. It is the report, the affidavits, the transcripts of
it was a grave error for respondent judge to have done stenographic notes (if any), and all other supporting documents
so. In Alvarez v. Court of First Instance, this Court ruled behind the Prosecutor's certification which are material in assisting
that "the oath required must refer to the truth of the the Judge to make his determination. Thus, Judges and Prosecutors
facts within the personal knowledge of the petitioner or alike should distinguish the preliminary inquiry which determines
his witnesses, because the purpose thereof is to probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest from the
preliminary investigation proper which ascertains whether the deemed completed. All that is required is that the respondent be
offender should be held for trial or released. Even if the two given the opportunity to submit counter-affidavits if he is so
inquiries are conducted in the course of one and the same minded. The second issue, raised by petitioner Beltran, calls for an
proceeding, there should be no confusion about the objectives. The interpretation of the constitutional provision on the issuance of
determination of probable cause for the warrant of arrest is made warrants of arrest. The pertinent provision reads: Art. III, Sec. 2.
by the Judge. The preliminary investigation proper - whether or not The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,
there is reasonable ground to believe that the accused is guilty of papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of
the offense charged and, therefore, whether or not be should be whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no
subjected to the expense, rigors and embarrassment of trial — is search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon
the function of the Prosecutor. Preliminary investigation should be probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after
distinguished as to whether it is an investigation for the examination nder oath or affirmation of the complainant and the
determination of a sufficient ground for the filing of the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to
information or it is an investigation for the determination of a be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. The first kind
of preliminary investigation is executive in nature. It is part of the The addition of the word "personally" after the word "determined"
prosecution's job. The second kind of preliminary investigation and the deletion of the grant of authority by the 1973 Constitution
which is more properly called preliminary examination is judicial in to issue warrants to "other responsible officers as may be
nature and is lodged with the judge. The 1987 Constitution (Article authorized by law," has apparently convinced petitioner Beltran
IX C, Section 2) mandates the COMELEC not only to investigate but that the Constitution now requires the judge to personally examine
also to prosecute cases of violation of election laws. This means the complainant and his witnesses in his determination of probable
that the COMELEC is empowered to conduct preliminary cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest. This is not an accurate
investigations in cases involving election offenses for the purpose interpretation.
of helping the Judge determine probable cause and for filing an
What the Constitution underscores is the exclusive and personal
information in court. This power is exclusive with COMELEC. It is
responsibility of the issuing judge to satisfy himself of the existence
only after a preliminary examination conducted by the COMELEC
of probable cause. In satisfying himself of the existence of probable
through its officials or its deputies that section 2, Article III of the
cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest, the judge is not
1987 Constitution comes in. This is so, because, when the
required to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses.
application for a warrant of arrest is made and the information is
Following established doctrine and procedure, he shall: (1)
filed with the court, the judge will then determine whether or not
personally evaluate the report and the supporting documents
a probable cause exists for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. The
submitted by the fiscal regarding the existence of probable cause
trial court misconstrued the constitutional provision when it
and, on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest; or (2) if on the
quashed the information filed by the Provincial Election Supervisor.
basis thereof he finds no probable cause, he may disregard the
The order to get the approval of the Provincial Fiscal is not only
fiscal's report and require the submission of supporting affidavits
superfluous but unwarranted.
of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the
Soliven Vs. Makasiar [167 SCRA 393; G.R. No. 82585; 14 Nov 1988] existence of probable cause.

Facts: In these consolidated cases, three principal issues were Sound policy dictates this procedure, otherwise judges would be
raised: (1) whether or not petitioners were denied due process unduly laden with the preliminary examination and investigation of
when informations for libel were filed against them although the criminal complaints instead of concentrating on hearing and
finding of the existence of a prima facie case was still under review deciding cases filed before their courts. It has not been shown that
by the Secretary of Justice and, subsequently, by the President; and respondent judge has deviated from the prescribed procedure.
(2) whether or not the constitutional rights of Beltran were violated Thus, with regard to the issuance of the warrants of arrest, a finding
when respondent RTC judge issued a warrant for his arrest without of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
personally examining the complainant and the witnesses, if any, to jurisdiction cannot be sustained. The petitions fail to establish that
determine probable cause. Subsequent events have rendered the public respondents, through their separate acts, gravely abused
first issue moot and academic. On March 30, 1988, the Secretary of their discretion as to amount to lack of jurisdiction. Hence, the
Justice denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration and upheld writs of certiorari and prohibition prayed for cannot issue.
the resolution of the Undersecretary of Justice sustaining the City
WHEREFORE, finding no grave abuse of discretion amounting to
Fiscal's finding of a prima facie case against petitioners. A second
excess or lack of jurisdiction on the part of the public respondents,
motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner Beltran was denied
the Court Resolved to DISMISS the petitions in G. R. Nos. 82585,
by the Secretary of Justice on April 7, 1988. On appeal, the
82827 and 83979. The Order to maintain the status quo contained
President, through the Executive Secretary, affirmed the resolution
in the Resolution of the Court en banc dated April 7, 1988 and
of the Secretary of Justice on May 2, 1988. The motion for
reiterated in the Resolution dated April 26, 1988 is LIFTED.
reconsideration was denied by the Executive Secretary on May 16,
1988. With these developments, petitioners' contention that they Morano Vs. Vivo [20 SCRA 562; G.R. L-22196; 30 Jun 1967]
have been denied the administrative remedies available under the
law has lost factual support. Facts: Chan Sau Wah, a Chinese citizen born in Fukien, China
arrived in the Philippines on November 1961 to visit her cousin,
Issue: Whether or Not petitioners were denied due process Samuel Lee Malaps. She left China and her children by a first
when informations for libel were filed against them although the marriage: Fu Tse Haw and Fu Yan Kai both minors, in the care of
finding of the existence of a prima facie case was still under review neighbors in Fukien, China. Chan Sau wah arrived in the Philippines
by the Secretary of Justice and, subsequently, by the President. with Fu Yan Fun, her minor son also by the first marriage. Chan Sau
Wah and her minor son Fu Yan Fun were permitted only into the
Whether or Not the constitutional rights of Beltran were violated
Philippines under a temporary visitor's visa for two months and
when respondent RTC judge issued a warrant for his arrest without
after they posted a cash bond of 4,000 pesos. On January 1962,
personally examining the complainant and the witnesses, if any, to
Chan Sau Wah married Esteban Morano, a native-born Filipino
determine probable cause
citizen. Born to this union on September 1962 was Esteban
Held: With respect to petitioner Beltran, the allegation of denial of Morano, Jr. To prolong their stay in the Philippines, Chan Sau Wah
due process of law in the preliminary investigation is negated by and Fu Yan Fun obtained several extensions. The last extension
the fact that instead of submitting his counter- affidavits, he filed a expired on September 10, 1962. In a letter dated August 31, 1962,
"Motion to Declare Proceedings Closed," in effect waiving his right the Commissioner of Immigration ordered Chan Sau Wah and her
to refute the complaint by filing counter-affidavits. Due process of son, Fu Yan Fun, to leave the country on or before September 10,
law does not require that the respondent in a criminal case actually 1962 with a warning that upon failure so to do, he will issue a
file his counter-affidavits before the preliminary investigation is
warrant for their arrest and will cause the confiscation of their Held: Under the new Constitution, “. . . no search warrant or
bond. warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be
determined personally by the judge after examination under oath
Issue: Whether or Not the issuance of the warrant of arrest is or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may
unconstitutional. produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and
the persons or things to be seized”. Mayors and prosecuting
Held: Chan Sau Wah entered the Philippines on a tourist-temporary
officers cannot issue warrants of seizure or arrest. The Closure and
visitor's visa. She is a non-immigrant. Under Section 13 just quoted,
Seizure Order was based on Article 38 of the Labor Code. The
she may therefore be admitted if she were a qualified and desirable
Supreme Court held, “We reiterate that the Secretary of Labor, not
alien and subject to the provisions of the last paragraph of Section
being a judge, may no longer issue search or arrest warrants.
9. Therefore, first, she must depart voluntarily to some foreign
Hence, the authorities must go through the judicial process. To that
country; second, she must procure from the appropriate consul the
extent, we declare Article 38, paragraph (c), of the Labor Code,
proper visa; and third, she must thereafter undergo examination
unconstitutional and of no force and effect… The power of the
by the officials of the Bureau of Immigration at the port of entry for
President to order the arrest of aliens for deportation is, obviously,
determination of her admissibility in accordance with the
exceptional. It (the power to order arrests) cannot be made to
requirements of the immigration Act. This Court in a number of
extend to other cases, like the one at bar. Under the Constitution,
cases has ruled, and consistently too, that an alien admitted as a
it is the sole domain of the courts.” Furthermore, the search and
temporary visitor cannot change his or her status without first
seizure order was in the nature of a general warrant. The court held
departing from the country and complying with the requirements
that the warrant is null and void, because it must identify
of Section 9 of the Immigration Act. The gravamen of petitioners'
specifically the things to be seized.
argument is that Chan Sau Wah has, since her entry, married in
Manila a native-born Filipino, Esteban Morano. It will not WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. Article 38, paragraph (c) of
particularly help analysis for petitioners to appeal to family the Labor Code is declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL and null and void.
solidarity in an effort to thwart her deportation. Chan Sau Wah, The respondents are ORDERED to return all materials seized as a
seemingly is not one who has a high regard for such solidarity. result of the implementation of Search and Seizure Order No. 1205.
Proof: She left two of her children by the first marriage, both
minors, in the care of neighbors in Fukien, China.Then, the wording Mata vs. Bayona [GR 50720, 26 March 1984]
of the statute heretofore adverted to is a forbidding obstacle which
will prevent this Court from writing into the law an additional Facts: Soriano Mata was accused under Presidential Decree (PD)
provision that marriage of a temporary alien visitor to a Filipino 810, as amended by PD 1306, the information against him alleging
would ipso facto make her a permanent resident in his country. that Soriano Mata offered, took and arranged bets on the Jai Alai
This is a field closed to judicial action. No breadth of discretion is game by "selling illegal tickets known as 'Masiao tickets' without
allowed. We cannot insulate her from the State's power of any authority from the Philippine Jai Alai & Amusement
deportation. it would be an easy matter for an alien woman to Corporation or from the government authorities concerned." Mata
enter the Philippines as a temporary visitor, go through a mock claimed that during the hearing of the case, he discovered that
marriage, but actually live with another man as husband and wife, nowhere from the records of the said case could be found the
and thereby skirt the provisions of our immigration law. Also, a search warrant and other pertinent papers connected to the
woman of undesirable character may enter this country, ply a issuance of the same, so that he had to inquire from the City Fiscal
pernicious trade, marry a Filipino, and again throw overboard its whereabouts, and to which inquiry Judge Josephine K. Bayona,
Sections 9 and 13 of the Act. Such a flanking movement, we are presiding Jufe of the City Court of Ormoc replied, "it is with the
confident, is impermissible. Recently we confirmed the rule that an court". The Judge then handed the records to the Fiscal who
alien wife of a Filipino may not stay permanently without first attached them to the records. This led Mata to file a motion to
departing from the Philippines. Reason: Discourage entry under quash and annul the search warrant and for the return of the
false pretenses. articles seized, citing and invoking, among others, Section 4 of Rule
126 of the Revised Rules of Court. The motion was denied by the
Salazar Vs. Achacoso [183 SCRA 145; G.R. No. 81510; 14 Mar 1990] Judge on 1 March 1979, stating that the court has made a thorough
investigation and examination under oath of Bernardo U. Goles and
Facts: Rosalie Tesoro of Pasay City in a sworn statement filed with Reynaldo T. Mayote, members of the Intelligence Section of 352nd
the POEA, charged petitioner with illegal recruitment. Public PC Co./Police District II INP; that in fact the court made a
respondent Atty. Ferdinand Marquez sent petitioner a telegram certification to that effect; and that the fact that documents
directing him to appear to the POEA regarding the complaint relating to the search warrant were not attached immediately to
against him. On the same day, after knowing that petitioner had no the record of the criminal case is of no moment, considering that
license to operate a recruitment agency, public respondent the rule does not specify when these documents are to be attached
Administrator Tomas Achacoso issued a Closure and Seizure Order to the records. Mata's motion for reconsideration of the aforesaid
No. 1205 to petitioner. It stated that there will a seizure of the order having been denied, he came to the Supreme Court, with the
documents and paraphernalia being used or intended to be used petition for certiorari, praying, among others, that the Court
as the means of committing illegal recruitment, it having verified declare the search warrant to be invalid for its alleged failure to
that petitioner has— (1) No valid license or authority from the comply with the requisites of the Constitution and the Rules of
Department of Labor and Employment to recruit and deploy Court, and that all the articles confiscated under such warrant as
workers for overseas employment; (2) Committed/are committing inadmissible as evidence in the case, or in any proceedings on the
acts prohibited under Article 34 of the New Labor Code in relation matter.
to Article 38 of the same code. A team was then tasked to
implement the said Order. The group, accompanied by mediamen Issue: Whether the judge must before issuing the warrant
and Mandaluyong policemen, went to petitioner’s residence. They personally examine on oath or affirmation the complainant and any
served the order to a certain Mrs. For a Salazar, who let them in. witnesses he may produce and take their depositions in writing,
The team confiscated assorted costumes. Petitioner filed with and attach them to the record, in addition to any affidavits
POEA a letter requesting for the return of the seized properties, presented to him.
because she was not given prior notice and hearing. The said Order
violated due process. She also alleged that it violated sec 2 of the Held: Under the Constitution "no search warrant shall issue but
Bill of Rights, and the properties were confiscated against her will upon probable cause to be determined by the Judge or such other
and were done with unreasonable force and intimidation. responsible officer as may be authorized by law after examination
under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he
Issue: Whether or Not the Philippine Overseas Employment may produce". More emphatic and detailed is the implementing
Administration (or the Secretary of Labor) can validly issue rule of the constitutional injunction, The Rules provide that the
warrants of search and seizure (or arrest) under Article 38 of the judge must before issuing the warrant personally examine on oath
Labor Code or affirmation the complainant and any witnesses he may produce
and take their depositions in writing, and attach them to the of authority. On September 10, the court issued an order holding:
record, in addition to any affidavits presented to him. Mere that the search warrant was obtained and issued in accordance
affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses are thus not with the law, that it had been duly complied with and,
sufficient. The examining Judge has to take depositions in writing consequently, should not be cancelled, and that agent Siongco did
of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce and to not commit any contempt of court and must, therefore, be
attach them to the record. Such written deposition is necessary in exonerated, and ordering the chief of the Anti-Usury Board in
order that the Judge may be able to properly determine the Manila to show cause, if any, within the unextendible period of 2
existence or nonexistence of the probable cause, to hold liable for days from the date of notice of said order, why all the articles
perjury the person giving it if it will be found later that his seized appearing in the inventory should not be returned to
declarations are false. We, therefore, hold that the search warrant Alvarez. The assistant chief of the Anti-Usury Board of the
is tainted with illegality by the failure of the Judge to conform with Department of Justice filed a motion praying, for the reasons stated
the essential requisites of taking the depositions in writing and therein, that the articles seized be ordered retained for the
attaching them to the record, rendering the search warrant invalid. purpose of conducting an investigation of the violation of the Anti-
Usury Law committed by Alvarez. On October 10, said official again
Alvarez vs. Court of First Instance of Tayabas [GR 45358, 29 filed another motion alleging that he needed 60 days to examine
January 1937] the documents and papers seized, which are designated on pages
1 to 4 of the inventory by Nos. 5, 10, 16, 23, 25-27, 30-31 , 34, 36-
Facts: On 3 June 1936, the chief of the secret service of the Anti-
43 and 45, and praying that he be granted said period of 60 days.
Usury Board, of the Department of Justice, presented to Judge
In an order of October 16, the court granted him the period of 60
Eduardo Gutierrez David then presiding over the Court of First
days to investigate said 19 documents. Alvarez, herein, asks that
Instance of Tayabas, an affidavit alleging that according to reliable
the search warrant as well as the order authorizing the agents of
information, Narciso Alvarez kept in his house in Infanta, Tayabas,
the Anti-Usury Board to retain the articles seized, be declared
books, documents, receipts, lists, chits and other papers used by
illegal and set aside, and prays that all the articles in question be
him in connection with his activities as a moneylender, charging
returned to him.
usurious rates of interest in violation of the law. In his oath at the
end of the affidavit, the chief of the secret service stated that his Issue: Whether the search warrant issued by the court is illegal
answers to the questions were correct to the best of his knowledge because it has been based upon the affidavit of agent Almeda in
and belief. He did not swear to the truth of his statements upon his whose oath he declared that he had no personal knowledge of the
own knowledge of the facts but upon the information received by facts which were to serve as a basis for the issuance of the warrant
him from a reliable person. Upon the affidavit the judge, on said but that he had knowledge thereof through mere information
date, issued the warrant which is the subject matter of the petition, secured from a person whom he considered reliable, and that it is
ordering the search of the Alvarez's house at any time of the day or illegal as it was not supported by other affidavits aside from that
night, the seizure of the books and documents and the immediate made by the applicant.
delivery thereof to him to be disposed of in accordance with the
law. With said warrant, several agents of the Anti-Usury Board Held: Section 1, paragraph 3, of Article III of the Constitution and
entered Alvarez's store and residence at 7:00 p.m. of 4 June 1936, Section 97 of General Orders 58 require that there be not only
and seized and took possession of the following articles: internal probable cause before the issuance of a search warrant but that
revenue licenses for the years 1933 to 1936, 1 ledger, 2 journals, 2 the search warrant must be based upon an application supported
cashbooks, 9 order books, 4 notebooks, 4 check stubs, 2 by oath of the applicant and the witnesses he may produce. In its
memorandums, 3 bankbooks, 2 contracts, 4 stubs, 48 stubs of broadest sense, an oath includes any form of attestation by which
purchases of copra, 2 inventories, 2 bundles of bills of lading, 1 a party signifies that he is bound in conscience to perform an act
bundle of credit receipts, 1 bundle of stubs of purchases of copra, faithfully and truthfully; and it is sometimes defined as an outward
2 packages of correspondence, 1 receipt book belonging to Luis pledge given by the person taking it that his attestation or promise
Fernandez, 14 bundles of invoices and other papers, many is made under an immediate sense of his responsibility to God. The
documents and loan contracts with security and promissory notes, oath required must refer to the truth of the facts within the
504 chits, promissory notes and stubs of used checks of the personal knowledge of the petitioner or his witnesses, because the
Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). The search for purpose thereof is to convince the committing magistrate, not the
and seizure of said articles were made with the opposition of individual making the affidavit and seeking the issuance of the
Alvarez who stated his protest below the inventories on the ground warrant, of the existence of probable cause. The true test of
that the agents seized even the originals of the documents. As the sufficiency of an affidavit to warrant issuance of a search warrant
articles had not been brought immediately to the judge who issued is whether it has been drawn in such a manner that perjury could
the search warrant, Alvarez, through his attorney, filed a motion on be charged thereon and affiant be held liable for damages caused.
8 June 1936, praying that the agent Emilio L. Siongco, or any other The affidavit, which served as the exclusive basis of the search
agent, be ordered immediately to deposit all the seized articles in warrant, is insufficient and fatally defective by reason of the
the office of the clerk of court and that said agent be declared guilty manner in which the oath was made, and therefore, the search
of contempt for having disobeyed the order of the court. On said warrant and the subsequent seizure of the books, documents and
date the court issued an order directing Siongco to deposit all the other papers are illegal. Further, it is the practice in this jurisdiction
articles seized within 24 hours from the receipt of notice thereof to attach the affidavit of at least the applicant or complainant to
and giving him a period of 5 days within which to show cause why the application. It is admitted that the judge who issued the search
he should not be punished for contempt of court. On 10 June, warrant in this case, relied exclusively upon the affidavit made by
Attorney Arsenio Rodriguez, representing the Anti-Usury Board, agent Almeda and that he did not require nor take the deposition
filed a motion praying that the order of the 8th of said month be of any other witness. Neither the Constitution nor General Orders
set aside and that the Anti-Usury Board be authorized to retain the 58 provides that it is of imperative necessity to take the depositions
articles seized for a period of 30 days for the necessary of the witnesses to be presented by the applicant or complainant
investigation. On June 25, the court issued an order requiring agent in addition to the affidavit of the latter. The purpose of both in
Siongco forthwith to file the search warrant and the affidavit in the requiring the presentation of depositions is nothing more than to
court, together with the proceedings taken by him, and to present satisfy the committing magistrate of the existence of probable
an inventory duly verified by oath of all the articles seized. On July cause. Therefore, if the affidavit of the applicant or complainant is
2, the attorney for the petitioner filed a petition alleging that the sufficient, the judge may dispense with that of other witnesses.
search warrant issued was illegal and that it had not yet been Inasmuch as the affidavit of the agent was insufficient because his
returned to date together with the proceedings taken in knowledge of the facts was not personal but merely hearsay, it is
connection therewith, and praying that said warrant be cancelled, the duty of the judge to require the affidavit of one or more
that an order be issued directing the return of all the articles seized witnesses for the purpose of determining the existence of probable
to Alvarez, that the agent who seized them be declared guilty of cause to warrant the issuance of the search warrant. When the
contempt of court, and that charges be filed against him for abuse affidavit of the applicant or complainant contains sufficient facts
within his personal and direct knowledge, it is sufficient if the judge to the respondent Judge, transmitting Atty.Batuampar's letter
is satisfied that there exists probable cause; when the applicant's and requesting that "all cases that may be filed relative … (to the
knowledge of the facts is mere hearsay, the affidavit of one or more incident) that happened in the afternoon of July 27, 1985," be
witnesses having a personal knowledge of the facts is necessary. forwarded to his office, which "has first taken cognizance of said
Thus the warrant issued is likewise illegal because it was based only cases."-No case relative to the incident was, however, presented to
on the affidavit of the agent who had no personal knowledge of the the respondent Judge until Saturday, August 10, 1985, when a
facts. criminal complaint for multiple murder was filed before him by P.C.
Sgt. Jose L. Laruan, which was docketed as Case No. 1748. On that
People v. Tee G.R. Nos. 140546-47, January 20, 2003 same day, the respondent Judge "examined personally all (three)
witnesses (brought by the sergeant) under oath thru … (his) closed
FACTS: Modesto Tee was a Chinese national and a businessman in
and direct supervision," reducing to writing the questions to the
Baguio City who bought sacks of marijuana and stored them in a
witnesses and the latter's answers. Thereafter the Judge "approved
rented room of Danilo Abratique’s grandmother’ house managed
the complaint and issued the corresponding warrant of arrest "
by Abratique’s aunt Nazarea Abreau. Abratique, a Baguio-based
against the fourteen (14) petitioners (who were named by the
taxi driver, was Tee’s acquaintance whom he hired in transporting
witnesses) and fifty (50) John Does.-An "ex-parte" motion for
the contraband. Fearful of getting involved, Abratique and Nazarea
reconsideration was filed on August 14, 1985 by Atty.
phoned the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and disclosed
Batuampar(joined by Atty. Pama L. Muti), seeking recall of the
what had transpired. NBI, then, conducted surveillance at
warrant of arrest and subsequent holding of a "thorough
Nazarea’s place together with the Philippine National Police
investigation" on the ground that the Judge's initial investigation
Narcotics Command (PNP NARCOM). When the appellant did not
had been "hasty and manifestly haphazard" with "no searching
show up, the NBI decided to enter the room that Tee rented after
questions" having been propounded. The respondent Judge
Nazarea granted them permission. NBI searched the rented
denied the motion for “lack of basis”.-The petitioners contend:-
premises and found four (4) boxes and thirteen (13) sacks
that the Judge in the case at bar failed to conduct the investigation
of marijuana, totaling 336.93 kilograms. Later that evening,
in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Section 3, Rule 112
NBI Special Agent Darwin Lising, with Abratique as his witness, of the Rules of Court;- that failure constituted a denial
applied fora search warrant from RTC Judge Antonio Reyes. Judge to petitioners of due process which nullified the proceedings
Reyes, after questioning Lising and Abratique, issued warrant leading to the issuance of the warrant for the petitioners' arrest; -
directing the NBI to search Tee’s residence for marijuana. that August 10, 1985 was a Saturday during which "Municipal Trial
Thereafter, NBI and PNP NARCOM proceeded to Tee’s residence Courts are open from8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. only ..." and"... it would
and served the warrant upon Tee himself. The search was hardly have been possible for respondent Judge to determine the
witnessed by Tee’s family, barangay officials, and members of the existence of probable cause against sixty- four (64) persons
media. The law enforcers found 26 boxes and a sack of dried whose participations were of varying nature and degree in a
marijuana, totaling 591.81 kilograms. Tee was arrested for illegal matter of hours and issue the warrant of arrest in the same day"
possession of marijuana. In his defense, Tee argued that the
;- that there was undue haste and an omission to ask searching
evidence for prosecution was inadmissible since they were
questions by the Judge who relied "mainly on the supporting
illegally obtained through an unlawful search. He contended: that
affidavits which were obviously prepared already when presented
the description on the search warrant which says “an
to him by an enlisted PC personnel as investigator.";
undetermined amount of marijuana” was too general, making it
void for vagueness; the address indicated in the search warrant did - that the respondent Judge conducted the preliminary
not clearly indicate the place to be searched; and, that the NBI investigation of the charges "... in total disregard of the Provincial
had not complied with the constitutional requirements for Fiscal ..."who, as said respondent well knew, had already taken
the issuance of a valid search warrant. cognizance of the matter twelve (12) days earlier and was poised
to conduct his own investigation of the same; and- that issuance of
ISSUE: WON the search warrant is valid?
a warrant of arrest against fifty (50) "John Does" transgressed the
HELD: SC held that the appellant’s contention, has no leg to stand Constitutional provision requiring that such warrants should
on. The constitutional requirement of reasonable particularity of particularly describe the persons or things to be seized.
description of the things to be seized is primarily meant to enable
Issue: WON the warrant of arrest was null and void. More
the law enforcers serving the warrant to: (1) readily identify the
specifically stated, WON completion of the procedure laid down in
properties to be seized and thus prevent them from seizing the
Section 3 of Rule 112 a condition sine qua non for the issuance of a
wrong items; and (2) leave said peace officers with no discretion
warrant of arrest.
regarding the articles to be seized and thus prevent unreasonable
searches and seizures. What the Constitution seeks to avoid are Ruling: The warrant complained of is upheld and declared valid
search warrants of broad or general characterization or sweeping insofar as it orders the arrest of the petitioners. Said warrant is
descriptions, which will authorize police officers to undertake a voided to the extent that it is issued against fifty (50) "John Does."
fishing expedition to seize and confiscate any and all kinds of The respondent Judge is directed to forward to the Provincial Fiscal
evidence or articles relating to an offense. However, it is not of Lanao del Sur the record of the preliminary investigation of the
required that technical precision of description be required, complaint in Criminal Case No. 1728 of his court for further
particularly, where by the nature of the goods to be seized, their appropriate action.
description must be rather general, since the requirement of a
technical description would mean that no warrant could issue. RD: Sec 3 of Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure
provides the procedure in conducting a pre-investigation of any
PANGANDAMAN VS CASAR159 SCRA 599, 611 (1988) crime cognizable in the RTCs. Although not specifically declared the
said provision actually mandates two phases. The first phase
Facts: -On July 27, 1985, a shooting incident occurred in Pantao,
consists of an ex-parte inquiry into the sufficiency of the complaint
Masiu, Lanao del Sur, which left at least five persons dead and two
and the affidavits and other documents offered in support thereof.
others wounded. What in fact transpired is still unclear.-On the
And it ends with the determination by the Judge either:(1) that
following day, Atty. Mangurun Batuampar, claiming to represent
there is no ground to continue with the inquiry, in which case he
the widow of one of the victims, filed a letter-complaint with the
dismisses the complaint and transmits the order of dismissal,
Provincial Fiscal at Marawi City, asking for a "full blast preliminary
together with the records of the case, to the provincial fiscal; or(2)
investigation" of the incident. The letter adverted to the possibility
that the complaint and the supporting documents show sufficient
of innocent persons being implicated by the parties involved on
cause to continue with the inquiry and this ushers in the second
both sides — none of whom was, however, identified — and
promised that supporting affidavits would shortly be filed.
Immediately the Provincial Fiscal addressed a "1st endorsement"
This second phase is designed to give the respondent notice of the P700,000.00, respectively. Salanguit appealed; contesting his
complaint, access to the complainant's evidence and an conviction on the grounds that (1) the admissibility of the shabu
opportunity to submit counter-affidavits and supporting allegedly recovered from his residence as evidence against him on
documents. At this stage also, the Judge may conduct a hearing the ground that the warrant used in obtaining it was invalid; (2) the
and propound to the parties and their witnesses questions on admissibility in evidence of the marijuana allegedly seized from
matters that, in his view, need to be clarified. The second phase Salanguit to the "plain view" doctrine; and (3) the employment of
concludes with the Judge rendering his resolution, either for unnecessary force by the police in the execution of the warrant.
dismissal of the complaint or holding the respondent for trial,
which shall be transmitted, together with the record, to Issue: Whether the warrant was invalid for failure of providing
the provincial fiscal for appropriate action. There is evidence to support the seizure of “drug paraphernalia”, and
no requirement that the entire procedure for preliminary whether the marijuana may be included as evidence in light of the
investigation must be completed before a warrant of arrest may “plain view doctrine.”
be issued. The present Section 6 of the same Rule 112 clearly
Held: The warrant authorized the seizure of "undetermined
authorizes the municipal trial court to order the respondent's
quantity of shabu and drug paraphernalia." Evidence was
presented showing probable cause of the existence of
“Sec. 6. When warrant of arrest may issue.- xxx xxx xxx (b) By the methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. The fact that there was
Municipal Trial Court. If the municipal trial judge conducting the no probable cause to support the application for the seizure of drug
preliminary investigation is satisfied after an examination paraphernalia does not warrant the conclusion that the search
in writing and under oath of the complainant and his witnesses in warrant is void. This fact would be material only if drug
the form of searching question and answers, that a probable cause paraphernalia was in fact seized by the police. The fact is that none
exists and that there is a necessity of placing the respondent under was taken by virtue of the search warrant issued. If at all, therefore,
immediate custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice, he the search warrant is void only insofar as it authorized the seizure
shag issue a warrant of arrest.” of drug paraphernalia, but it is valid as to the seizure of
methamphetamine hydrochloride as to which evidence was
The argument, therefore, must be rejected that the respondent presented showing probable cause as to its existence. In sum, with
Judge acted with grave abuse of discretion in issuing the warrant respect to the seizure of shabu from Salanguit's residence, Search
of arrest against petitioners without first completing the Warrant 160 was properly issued, such warrant being founded on
preliminary investigation in accordance with the prescribed probable cause personally determined by the judge under oath or
procedure. The rule is and has always been that such issuance need affirmation of the deposing witness and particularly describing the
only await a finding of probable cause, not the completion of the place to be searched and the things to be seized. With respect to,
entire procedure of preliminary investigation. and in light of the "plain view doctrine," the police failed to allege
the time when the marijuana was found, i.e., whether prior to, or
People vs. Salanguit [GR 133254-55, 19 April 2001 contemporaneous with, the shabu subject of the warrant, or
whether it was recovered on Salanguit's person or in an area within
Facts: On 26 December 1995, Sr. Insp. Aguilar applied for a warrant
his immediate control. Its recovery, therefore, presumably during
in the Regional Trial Court, Branch 90, Dasmariñias, Cavite, to
the search conducted after the shabu had been recovered from the
search the residence of Robert Salanguit y Ko on Binhagan St.,
cabinet, as attested to by SPO1 Badua in his deposition, was invalid.
Novaliches, Quezon City. He presented as his witness SPO1
Thus, the Court affirmed the decision as to Criminal Case Q-95-
Edmund Badua, who testified that as a poseur-buyer, he was able
64357 only.
to purchase 2.12 grams of shabu from Salanguit. The sale took
place in Salunguit's room, and Badua saw that the shabu was taken People vs. Sucro [GR 93239, 18 March 1991]
by Salunguit from a cabinet inside his room. The application was
granted, and a search warrant was later issued by Presiding Judge Facts: On 21 March 1989, Pat. Roy Fulgencio, a member of the INP,
Dolores L. Español. At about 10:30 p.m. of said day, a group of Kalibo, Aklan, was instructed by P/Lt. Vicente Seraspi, Jr. (Station
about 10 policemen, along with one civilian informer, went to the Commander of the INP Kalibo, Aklan) to monitor the activities of
residence of Salunguit to serve the warrant. The police operatives Edison Sucro, because of information gathered by Seraspi that
knocked on Salanguit’s door, but nobody opened it. They heard Sucro was selling marijuana. As planned, at about 5:00 P.M. on said
people inside the house, apparently panicking. The police date, Pat. Fulgencio positioned himself under the house of a certain
operatives then forced the door open and entered the house. After Arlie Regalado at C. Quimpo Street. Adjacent to the house of
showing the search warrant to the occupants of the house, Lt. Regalado, about 2 meters away, was a chapel. Thereafter, Pat.
Cortes and his group started searching the house. They found 12 Fulgencio saw Sucro enter the chapel, taking something which
small heat-sealed transparent plastic bags containing a white turned out later to be marijuana from the compartment of a cart
crystalline substance, a paper clip box also containing a white found inside the chapel, and then return to the street where he
crystalline substance, and two bricks of dried leaves which handed the same to a buyer, Aldie Borromeo. After a while Sucro
appeared to be marijuana wrapped in newsprint having a total went back to the chapel and again came out with marijuana which
weight of approximately 1,255 grams. A receipt of the items seized he gave to a group of persons. It was at this instance that Pat.
was prepared, but Salanguit refused to sign it. After the search, the Fulgencio radioed P/Lt. Seraspi and reported the activity going on
police operatives took Salanguit with them to Station 10, EDSA, P/Lt. Seraspi instructed Pat. Fulgencio to continue monitoring
Kamuning, Quezon City, along with the items they had seized. PO3 developments. At about 6:30 P.M., Pat. Fulgencio again called up
Duazo requested a laboratory examination of the confiscated Seraspi to report that a third buyer later identified as Ronnie
evidence. The white crystalline substance with a total weight of Macabante, was transacting with Sucro. At that point, the team of
2.77 grams and those contained in a small box with a total weight P/Lt Seraspi proceeded to the area and while the police officers
of 8.37 grams were found to be positive for methamphetamine were at the Youth Hostel at Maagma St., Pat. Fulgencio told P/Lt.
hydrochloride. On the other hand, the two bricks of dried leaves, Seraspi to intercept Macabante and Sucro. P/ Lt. Seraspi and his
one weighing 425 grams and the other 850 grams, were found to team caught up with Macabante at the crossing of Mabini and
be marijuana. Charges against Roberto Salanguit y Ko for violations Maagma Sts. in front of the Aklan Medical Center. Upon seeing the
of Republic Act (RA) 6425, i.e. for possession of shabu and police, Macabante threw something to the ground which turned
marijuana, (Criminal Cases Q-95-64357 and Q95-64358, out to be a tea bag of marijuana. When confronted, Macabante
respectively) were filed on 28 December 1995. After hearing, the readily admitted that he bought the same from Sucro in front of
trial court rendered its decision, convicting Salanguit in Criminal the chapel. The police team was able to overtake and arrest Sucro
Cases Q-95-64357 and Q-95-64358 for violation of Section 16 and at the corner of C. Quimpo and Veterans Sts. The police recovered
8, respectively, RA 6425, and sentencing him to suffer an 19 sticks and 4 teabags of marijuana from the cart inside the chapel
indeterminate sentence with a minimum of 6 months of arresto and another teabag from Macabante. The teabags of marijuana
mayor and a maximum of 4 years and 2 months of prision were sent to the PC-INP Crime Laboratory Service, at Camp
correccional, and reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of Delgado, Iloilo City for analysis. The specimens were all found
positive of marijuana. Sucro was charged with violation of Section constituted “continuing crimes,” i.e. subversion, membership in an
4, Article II of the Dangerous Drugs Act. Upon arraignment, Sucro, outlawed organization, etc. There was no lawful warrantless arrest
assisted by counsel, entered a plea of "not guilty" to the offense under Section 5, Rule 113. This is because the arresting officers
charged. Trial ensued and a judgment of conviction was rendered, were not actually there during the incident, thus they had no
finding Sucro guilty of the sale of prohibited drug and sentencing personal knowledge and their information regarding petitioner
him to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment, and pay a fine of were derived from other sources. Further, Section 7, Rule 112,
P20,000, and costs. Sucro appealed. does not apply.

Issue: Whether the arrest without warrant of the accused is lawful Petitioner was not arrested at all, as when he walked in the police
and consequently, whether the evidence resulting from such arrest station, he neither expressed surrender nor any statement that he
is admissible. was or was not guilty of any crime. When a complaint was filed to
the prosecutor, preliminary investigation should have been
Held: Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure scheduled to determine probable cause. Prosecutor made a
provides for the instances where arrest without warrant is substantive error, petitioner is entitled to preliminary
considered lawful. The rule states that "A peace officer or private investigation, necessarily in a criminal charge, where the same is
person may, without warrant, arrest a person: (a) When in his required appear thereat. Petition granted, prosecutor is ordered
presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually to conduct preliminary investigation, trial for the criminal case is
committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an suspended pending result from preliminary investigation,
offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal petitioner is ordered released upon posting a bail bond.
knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has
committed it;" An offense is committed in the presence or within People vs. Gerente [GR 95847-48, 10 March 1993]
the view of an officer, within the meaning of the rule authorizing
an arrest without a warrant, when the officer sees the offense, Facts: At about 7:00 a.m. of 30 April 1990, Gabriel Gerente,
although at a distance, or hears the disturbances created thereby together with Fredo Echigoren and Totoy Echigoren, allegedly
and proceeds at once to the scene thereof. The failure of the police started drinking liquor and smoking marijuana in Gerente's house
officers to secure a warrant stems from the fact that their which is about 6 meters away from the house of Edna Edwina Reyes
knowledge acquired from the surveillance was insufficient to fulfill who was in her house on that day. She overheard the three men
the requirements for the issuance of a search warrant. What is talking about their intention to kill Clarito Blace. She testified that
paramount is that probable cause existed. Still, that searches and she heard Fredo Echigoren saying, "Gabriel, papatayin natin si
seizures must be supported by a valid warrant is not an absolute Clarito Blace." Fredo and Totoy Echigoren and Gerente carried out
rule. Among the exceptions granted by law is a search incidental to their plan to kill Clarito Blace at about 2:00 p.m. of the same day.
a lawful arrest under Sec. 12, Rule 126 of the Rules on Criminal Reyes allegedly witnessed the killing. Fredo Echigoren struck the
Procedure, which provides that a person lawfully arrested may be first blow against Clarito Blace, followed by Totoy Echigoren and
searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used Gabriel Gerente who hit him twice with a piece of wood in the head
as proof of the commission of an offense, without a search warrant. and when he fell, Totoy Echigoren dropped a hollow block on the
Herein, police officers have personal knowledge of the actual victim's head. Thereafter, the three men dragged Blace to a place
commission of the crime when it had earlier conducted surveillance behind the house of Gerente. At about 4:00 p.m. of the same day,
activities of the accused. Under the circumstances (monitoring of Patrolman Jaime Urrutia of the Valenzuela Police Station received
transactions) there existed probable cause for the arresting a report from the Palo Police Detachment about a mauling incident.
officers, to arrest Sucro who was in fact selling marijuana and to He went to the Valenzuela District Hospital where the victim was
seize the contraband. Thus, as there is nothing unlawful about the brought. He was informed by the hospital officials that the victim
arrest considering its compliance with the requirements of a died on arrival. The cause of death was massive fracture of the skull
warrantless arrest; ergo, the fruits obtained from such lawful arrest caused by a hard and heavy object. Right away, Patrolman Urrutia,
are admissible in evidence. together with Police Corporal Romeo Lima and Patrolman Alex
Umali, proceeded to Paseo de Blas where the mauling incident took
Go Vs. Court of Appeals [206 SCRA 138; G.R. No. 101837; 11 Feb place. There they found a piece of wood with blood stains, a hollow
1992] block and two roaches of marijuana. They were informed by Reyes
that she saw the killing and she pointed to Gabriel Gerente as one
Facts: Petitioner, while traveling in the wrong direction on a one- of the three men who killed Clarito. The policemen proceeded to
way street, almost had a collision with another vehicle. Petitioner the house of Gerente, who was then sleeping. They told him to
thereafter got out of his car, shot the driver of the other vehicle, come out of the house and they introduced themselves as
and drove off. An eyewitness of the incident was able to take down policemen.
petitioner’s plate number and reported the same to the police,
who subsequently ordered a manhunt for petitioner. 6 days after Patrolman Urrutia frisked Gerente and found a coin purse in his
the shooting, petitioner presented himself in the police station, pocket which contained dried leaves wrapped in cigarette foil. The
accompanied by 2 lawyers, the police detained him. Subsequently dried leaves were sent to the National Bureau of Investigation for
a criminal charge was brought against him. Petitioner posted bail, examination. The Forensic Chemist found them to be marijuana.
the prosecutor filed the case to the lower court, setting and Only Gerente was apprehended by the police. The other suspects,
commencing trial without preliminary investigation. Prosecutor Fredo and Totoy Echigoren, are still at large. On 2 May 1990, two
reasons that the petitioner has waived his right to preliminary separate informations were filed by Assistant Provincial Prosecutor
investigation as bail has been posted and that such situation, that Benjamin Caraig against him for Violation of Section 8, Art. II, of RA
petitioner has been arrested without a warrant lawfully, falls under 6425, and for Murder. When arraigned on 16 May 1990, Gerente
Section 5, Rule 113 and Section 7, Rule 112 of The 1985 Rules of pleaded not guilty to both charges. A joint trial of the two cases was
Criminal Procedure which provides for the rules and procedure held. On 24 September 1990, the Regional Trial Court of
pertaining to situations of lawful warrantless arrests. Petitioner in Valenzuela, Metro Manila, Branch 172, found Gerente guilty of
his petition for certiorari assails such procedure and actions Violation of Section 8 of Republic Act 6425 and sentenced him to
undertaken and files for a preliminary investigation. suffer the penalty of imprisonment for a term of 12 years and 1 day,
as minimum, to 20 years, as maximum; and also found him guilty
Issue: Whether or Not warrantless arrest of petitioner was lawful. of Murder for which crime he was sentenced to suffer the penalty
of reclusion perpetua. . Gerente appealed.
Whether or Not petitioner effectively waived his right to
preliminary investigation. Issue: Whether the police officers have the personal knowledge of
the killing of Blace to allow them to arrest, and the subsequent
Held: Petitioner and prosecutor err in relying on Umil v. Ramos,
searchly Gerente’s person, without the necessary warrant.
wherein the Court upheld the warrantless arrest as valid effected 1
to 14 days from actual commission of the offenses, which however
Held: The search of Gerente's person and the seizure of the materials or substances. Holder refusing to be searched shall not
marijuana leaves in his possession were valid because they were be allowed to board the aircraft,” which shall constitute a part of
incident to a lawful warrantless arrest. Paragraphs (a) and (b), the contract between the passenger and the air carrier.
Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Court provide that "A
peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a People v. Omaweng [GR 99050, 2 September 1992]
person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has
Facts: In the morning of 12 September 1988, PC constables with
committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an
the Mt. Province PC Command put up a checkpoint at the junction
offense; (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and
of the roads, one going to Sagada and the other to Bontoc. They
he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be
stopped and checked all vehicles that went through the checkpoint.
arrested has committed it;" The policemen arrested Gerente only
At 9:15 a.m., they flagged down a cream-colored Ford Fiera (ABT-
some 3 hours after Gerente and his companions had killed Blace.
634) coming from the Bontoc Poblacion and headed towards
They saw Blace dead in the hospital and when they inspected the
Baguio. The vehicle was driven by Conway Omaweng and had no
scene of the crime, they found the instruments of death: a piece of
passengers. The Constables (Layong, asked permission to
wood and a concrete hollow block which the killers had used to
inspect the vehicle to which Omaweng acceded to. When they
bludgeon him to death. The eye-witness, Edna Edwina Reyes,
peered into the rear of the vehicle, they saw a travelling bag which
reported the happening to the policemen and pinpointed her
was partially covered by the rim of a spare tire under the passenger
neighbor, Gerente, as one of the killers. Under those
seat on the right side of the vehicle. They asked permission to see
circumstances, since the policemen had personal knowledge of the
the contents of the bag to which Omaweng consented to. When
violent death of Blace and of facts indicating that Gerente and two
they opened the bag, they found that it contained 41 plastic
others had killed him, they could lawfully arrest Gerente without a
packets of different sizes containing pulverized substances. The
warrant. If they had postponed his arrest until they could obtain a
constable gave a packet to his team leader, who, after sniffing the
warrant, he would have fled the law as his two companions did.
stuff concluded that it was marijuana. The Constables thereafter
The search conducted on Gerente's person was likewise lawful
boarded the vehicles and proceeded to the Bontoc poblacion to
because it was made as an incident to a valid arrest. This is in
report the incident to the PC Headquarters. The prohibited drugs
accordance with Section 12, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Court
were surrendered to the evidence custodian. The PC Forensic
which provides that "A person lawfully arrested may be searched
Chemist at Camp Dangwa, La Trinidad, Benguet conducted 2
for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of
chemistry examinations of the substance contained in the plastic
the commission of an offense, without a search warrant." The frisk
packets taken from appellant and found them to be positive for
and search of Gerente's person upon his arrest was a permissible
hashish or marijuana. Omaweng was indicted for the violation of
precautionary measure of arresting officers to protect themselves,
Section 4, Article II of RA 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972), as
for the person who is about to be arrested may be armed and might
amended, in a criminal complaint filed with the MTC Bontoc,
attack them unless he is first disarmed.
Mountain Province on 12 September 1988. Upon his failure to
People vs Canton submit counter-affidavits despite the granting of an extension of
G.R. No. 148825 December 27, 2002 time to do so, the court declared that he had waived his right to a
preliminary investigation and, finding probable cause against
Omaweng, ordered the elevation of the case to the proper court.
FACTS: Appellant Susan Canton was charged before the Regional On 14 November 1988, the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of
Trial Court of Pasay City with the violation of Section 16 of Article Mountain Province filed an Information charging Omaweng with
III of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 (Republic Act No. 6425), as the violation of Section 47 Article II of the Dangerous Drugs Act of
amended, under an Information whose accusatory portion reads as 1972, as amended (Crim Case 713). After his motion for
follows: reinvestigation was denied by the Provincial Fiscal, Omaweng
entered a plea of not guilty during his arraignment on 20 June 1989.
That on February 12, 1998 at the Ninoy Aquino International During the trial on the merits, the prosecution presented 4
Airport, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the witnesses. Omaweng did not present any evidence other than
above named accused did then and there willfully, unlawfully and portions of the Joint Clarificatory Sworn Statement, dated 23
feloniously has in her possession NINE HUNDRED NINETY EIGHT December 1988, of prosecution witnesses Joseph Layong and David
POINT TWO EIGHT HUNDRED ZERO NINE (998.2809) GRAMS of Fomocod. On 21 March 1991, the trial court promulgated its
methamphetamine hydrochloride, a regulated drug, without the Judgment convicting Omaweng of the crime of transporting
corresponding prescription or license. prohibited drugs (Section 4, Article II of RA 6425, as amended).
Omaweng appealed to the Supreme Court.
Unsatisfied with the decision of the trial court, SUSAN imputing to
the trial court the following errors: (1) in justifying the warrantless Issue: Whether Omaweng was subjected to search which violates
search against her based on the alleged existence of probable his Constitutional right against unreasonable searches and
cause; (2) in holding that she was caught flagrante delicto and that seizures.
the warrantless search was incidental to a lawful arrest; (3) in not
ruling that the frisker went beyond the limits of the “Terry search” Held: Omaweng was not subjected to any search which may be
doctrine; (4) in not ruling that SUSAN was under custodial stigmatized as a violation of his Constitutional right against
investigation without counsel; (5) in admitting to the records of the unreasonable searches and seizures. He willingly gave prior
case the report of Dr. Ma. Bernadette Arcena, which was not consent to the search and voluntarily agreed to have it conducted
testified on or offered in evidence, and using the same in on his vehicle and travelling bag. The testimony of the PC Constable
determining her guilt; (6) in justifying under the rule on judicial (Layung) was not dented on cross-examination or rebutted by
notice its cognizance of the medical report that has not been Omaweng for he chose not to testify on his own behalf. Omaweng
offered in evidence; and (7) in applying the ruling in People v. waived his right against unreasonable searches and seizures when
Johnson. he voluntarily submitted to a search or consents to have it made in
his person or premises. He is precluded from later complaining
ISSUE: Whether or not the warrantless search and subsequent thereof right to be secure from unreasonable search may, like
seizure of the regulated drugs, as well as the arrest of Susan were every right, be waived and such waiver may be made either
violative of her constitutional rights. expressly or impliedly. Since in the course of the valid search 41
packages of drugs were found, it behooved the officers to seize the
RULING: No, the search was made pursuant to routine airport
same; no warrant was necessary for such seizure.
security procedure, which is allowed under Section 9 of Republic
Act No. 6235, “ Every ticket issued to a passenger by the airline or People Vs. Sy Chua
air carrier concerned shall contain among others the following
condition printed thereon: “Holder hereof and his hand-carried [396 SCRA 657; G.R. No.136066-67; 4 Feb 2003]
luggage(s) are subject to search for , and seizure of, prohibited
Facts: Accused-appellant Binad Sy Chua was charged with violation In a search incidental to a lawful arrest, as the precedent arrest
of Section 16, Article III of R.A. 6425, as amended by R.A. 7659, and determines the validity of the incidental search, the legality of the
for Illegal Possession of Ammunitions and Illegal Possession of arrest is questioned, e.g., whether an arrest was merely used as a
Drugs in two separate Informations. pretext for conducting a search. In this instance, the law requires
that there first be arrest before a search can be made—the process
SPO2 Nulud and PO2 Nunag received a report from their cannot be reversed. Accordingly, for this exception to apply, two
confidential informant that accused-appellant was about to deliver elements must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute
drugs that night at the Thunder Inn Hotel in Balibago, Angeles City. an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually
So, the PNP Chief formed a team of operatives. The group committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt
positioned themselves across McArthur Highway near Bali Hai act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting
Restaurant, fronting the hotel. The other group acted as their back officer.
Afterwards, their informer pointed to a car driven by accused- We find the two aforementioned elements lacking in the case at
appellant which just arrived and parked near the entrance of the bar. Accused-appellant did not act in a suspicious manner. For all
hotel. After accused-appellant alighted from the car carrying a intents and purposes, there was no overt manifestation that
sealed Zest-O juice box, SPO2 Nulud and PO2 Nunag hurriedly accused-appellant has just committed, is actually committing, or is
accosted him and introduced themselves as police officers. As attempting to commit a crime. “Reliable information” alone,
accused-appellant pulled out his wallet, a small transparent plastic absent any overt act indicative of a felonious enterprise in the
bag with a crystalline substance protruded from his right back presence and within the view of the arresting officers, is not
pocket. Forthwith, SPO2 Nulud subjected him to a body search sufficient to constitute probable cause that would justify an in
which yielded twenty (20) pieces of live .22 caliber firearm bullets flagrante delicto arrest.
from his left back pocket. When SPO2 Nunag peeked into the
contents of the Zest-O box, he saw that it contained a crystalline With regard to the concept of “stop-and frisk”: mere suspicion or a
substance. SPO2 Nulud instantly confiscated the small transparent hunch will not validate a “stop-and-frisk”. A genuine reason must
plastic bag, the Zest-O juice box, the twenty (20) pieces of .22 exist, in light of the police officer’s experience and surrounding
caliber firearm bullets and the car used by accused-appellant. SPO2 conditions, to warrant the belief that the person detained has
Nulud and the other police operatives who arrived at the scene weapons concealed about him. Finally, a “stop-and-frisk” serves a
brought the confiscated items to the office of Col. Guttierez at the two-fold interest: (1) the general interest of effective crime
PNP Headquarters in Camp Pepito, Angeles City. prevention and detection for purposes of investigating possible
criminal behavior even without probable cause; and (2) the interest
Accused-appellant vehemently denied the accusation against him of safety and self-preservation which permit the police officer to
and narrated a different version of the incident. take steps to assure himself that the person with whom he deals is
not armed with a deadly weapon that could unexpectedly and
Accused-appellant alleged that he was driving the car of his wife to fatally be used against the police officer.
follow her and his son to Manila. He felt sleepy, so he decided to
take the old route along McArthur Highway. He stopped in front of A stop-and-frisk was defined as the act of a police officer to stop a
a small store near Thunder Inn Hotel to buy cigarettes and candies. citizen on the street, interrogate him, and pat him for weapon(s) or
While at the store, he noticed a man approaches and examines the contraband. It should also be emphasized that a search and seizure
inside of his car. When he called the attention of the onlooker, the should precede the arrest for this principle to apply. The foregoing
man immediately pulled out a .45 caliber gun and made him face circumstances do not obtain in the case at bar. To reiterate,
his car with raised hands. The man later on identified himself as a accused-appellant was first arrested before the search and seizure
policeman. During the course of the arrest, the policeman took out of the alleged illegal items found in his possession. The
his wallet and instructed him to open his car. He refused, so the apprehending police operative failed to make any initial inquiry
policeman took his car keys and proceeded to search his car. At this into accused-appellant’s business in the vicinity or the contents of
time, the police officer’s companions arrived at the scene in two the Zest-O juice box he was carrying. The apprehending police
cars. PO2 Nulud, who just arrived at the scene, pulled him away officers only introduced themselves when they already had custody
from his car in a nearby bank, while the others searched his car. of accused-appellant.

Thereafter, he was brought to a police station and was held inside In the case at bar, neither the in flagrante delicto nor the “stop and
a bathroom for about fifteen minutes until Col. Guttierez arrived, frisk” principles is applicable to justify the warrantless arrest and
who ordered his men to call the media. In the presence of consequent search and seizure made by the police operatives on
reporters, Col. Guttierez opened the box and accused-appellant accused-appellant.
was made to hold the box while pictures were being taken.
Wherefore, accused-appellant Binad Sy Chua is hereby Acquitted.
The lower court acquitted Sy Chua for the Illegal Possession of
Ammunitions, yet convicted him for Illegal Possession of 1,955.815 Manalili v. CA [GR 113447, 9 October 1997]
grams of shabu. Hence, this appeal to the Court.
Facts: At about 2:10 p.m. of 11 April 1988, policemen from the Anti-
Issue: Narcotics Unit of the Kalookan City Police Station were conducting
a surveillance along A. Mabini street, Kalookan City, in front of the
Whether or Not the arrest of accused-appellant was lawful; and (2) Kalookan City Cemetery. The policemen were Pat. Romeo Espiritu
WON the search of his person and the subsequent confiscation of and Pat. Anger Lumabas and a driver named Arnold Enriquez was
shabu allegedly found on him were conducted in a lawful and valid driving a Tamaraw vehicle which was the official car of the Police
manner. Station of Kalookan City. The surveillance was being made because
of information that drug addicts were roaming the area in front of
Held: The lower court believed that since the police received the Kalookan City Cemetery. Upon reaching the Kalookan City
information that the accused will distribute illegal drugs that Cemetery, the policemen alighted from their vehicle. They then
evening at the Thunder Inn Hotel and its vicinities. The police chanced upon a male person in front of the cemetery who
officer had to act quickly and there was no more time to secure a appeared high on drugs. The male person was observed to have
search warrant. The search is valid being akin to a “stop and frisk”. reddish eyes and to be walking in a swaying manner. When this
male person tried to avoid the policemen, the latter approached
The trial court confused the concepts of a “stop-and-frisk” and of a
him and introduced themselves as police officers. The policemen
search incidental to a lawful arrest. These two types of warrantless
then asked the male person what he was holding in his hands. The
searches differ in terms of the requisite quantum of proof before
male person tried to resist. Pat. Romeo Espiritu asked the male
they may be validly effected and in their allowable scope.
person if he could see what said male person had in his hands. The
latter showed the wallet and allowed Pat. Romeo Espiritu to
examine the same. Pat. Espiritu took the wallet and examined it. marijuana in his possession. The search was valid, being akin to a
He found suspected crushed marijuana residue inside. He kept the stop-and-frisk.
wallet and its marijuana contents. The male person was then
brought to the Anti-Narcotics Unit of the Kalookan City Police People v. Malmstedt [GR 91107, 19 June 1991]
Headquarters and was turned over to Cpl. Wilfredo Tamondong for
Facts: Mikael Malmstedt, a Swedish national, entered the
investigation. Pat. Espiritu also turned over to Cpl. Tamondong the
Philippines for the 3rd time in December 1988 as a tourist. He had
confiscated wallet and its suspected marijuana contents. The man
visited the country sometime in 1982 and 1985. In the evening of 7
turned out to be Alain Manalili y Dizon. On 11 April 1988, Manalili
May 1989, Malmstedt left for Baguio City. Upon his arrival thereat
was charged by Assistant Caloocan City Fiscal E. Juan R. Bautista
in the morning of the following day, he took a bus to Sagada and
with violation of Section 8, Article II of Republic Act 6425. Upon his
stayed in that place for 2 days. On 11 May 1989, Capt. Alen Vasco
arraignment on 21 April 1988, Manalili pleaded "not guilty" to the
of NARCOM, stationed at Camp Dangwa, ordered his men to set up
charge. With the agreement of the public prosecutor, Manalili was
a temporary checkpoint at Kilometer 14, Acop, Tublay, Mountain
released after filing a P10,000.00 bail bond. After trial in due
Province, for the purpose of checking all vehicles coming from the
course, the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City, Branch 124, acting
Cordillera Region. The order to establish a checkpoint in the said
as a Special Criminal Court, rendered on 19 May 1989 a decision
area was prompted by persistent reports that vehicles coming from
convicting appellant of illegal possession of marijuana residue.
Sagada were transporting marijuana and other prohibited drugs.
Manalili remained on provisional liberty. Atty. Benjamin Razon,
Moreover, information was received by the Commanding Officer of
counsel for the defense, filed a Notice of Appeal dated 31 May
NARCOM, that same morning, that a Caucasian coming from
1989. On 19 April 1993, the Court of Appeals denied the appeal and
Sagada had in his possession prohibited drugs. At about 1:30 pm,
affirmed the trial court. The appellate court denied reconsideration
the bus where Malmstedt was riding was stopped. Sgt. Fider and
via its Resolution dated 20 January 1994. Manalili filed a petition
CIC Galutan boarded the bus and announced that they were
for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court.
members of the NARCOM and that they would conduct an
Issue: Whether a search and seizure could be effected without inspection. During the inspection, CIC Galutan noticed a bulge on
necessarily being preceded by an arrest. Malmstedt's waist. Suspecting the bulge on Malmstedt's waist to
be a gun, the officer asked for Malmstedt's passport and other
Held: In the landmark case of Terry vs. Ohio, a stop-and-frisk was identification papers. When Malmstedt failed to comply, the officer
defined as the vernacular designation of the right of a police officer required him to bring out whatever it was that was bulging on his
to stop a citizen on the street, interrogate him, and pat him for waist, which was a pouch bag. When Malmstedt opened the same
weapon(s). In allowing such a search, the interest of effective crime bag, as ordered, the officer noticed 4 suspicious-looking objects
prevention and detection allows a police officer to approach a wrapped in brown packing tape, which turned out to contain
person, in appropriate circumstances and manner, for purposes of hashish, a derivative of marijuana, when opened. Malmstedt
investigating possible criminal behavior even though there is stopped to get 2 travelling bags from the luggage carrier, each
insufficient probable cause to make an actual arrest. What justified containing a teddy bear, when he was invited outside the bus for
the limited search was the more immediate interest of the police questioning. It was observed that there were also bulges inside the
officer in taking steps to assure himself that the person with whom teddy bears which did not feel like foam stuffing. Malmstedt was
he was dealing was not armed with a weapon that could then brought to the headquarters of the NARCOM at Camp Dangwa
unexpectedly and fatally be used against him. It did not, however, for further investigation. At the investigation room, the officers
abandon the rule that the police must, whenever practicable, opened the teddy bears and they were found to also contain
obtain advance judicial approval of searches and seizures through hashish. Representative samples were taken from the hashish
the warrant procedure, excused only by exigent circumstances. In found among the personal effects of Malmstedt and the same were
Philippine jurisprudence, the general rule is that a search and brought to the PC Crime Laboratory for chemical analysis, which
seizure must be validated by a previously secured judicial warrant; established the objects examined as hashish. Malmstedt claimed
otherwise, such search and seizure is unconstitutional and subject that the hashish was planted by the NARCOM officers in his pouch
to challenge. Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution, gives bag and that the 2 travelling bags were not owned by him, but were
this guarantee. This right, however, is not absolute. The recent case merely entrusted to him by an Australian couple whom he met in
of People vs. Lacerna enumerated five recognized exceptions to the Sagada. He further claimed that the Australian couple intended to
rule against warrantless search and seizure, viz.: "(1) search take the same bus with him but because there were no more seats
incidental to a lawful arrest, (2) search of moving vehicles, (3) available in said bus, they decided to take the next ride and asked
seizure in plain view, (4) customs search, and (5) waiver by the Malmstedt to take charge of the bags, and that they would meet
accused themselves of their right against unreasonable search and each other at the Dangwa Station. An information was filed against
seizure." In People vs. Encinada, the Court further explained that in Malmstedt for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. During the
these cases, the search and seizure may be made only with arraignment, Malmstedt entered a plea of "not guilty." After trial
probable cause as the essential requirement. Stop-and-frisk has and on 12 October 1989, the trial court found Malmstedt guilty
already been adopted as another exception to the general rule beyond reasonable doubt for violation of Section 4, Article II of RA
against a search without a warrant. In Posadas vs. Court of Appeals, 6425 and sentenced him to life imprisonment and to pay a fine of
the Court held that there were many instances where a search and P20,000. Malmstedt sought reversal of the decision of the trial
seizure could be effected without necessarily being preceded by an court.
arrest, one of which was stop-and-frisk. To require the police
officers to search the bag only after they had obtained a search Issue: Whether the personal effects of Malmstedt may be searched
warrant might prove to be useless, futile and much too late under without an issued warrant.
the circumstances. In such a situation, it was reasonable for a police
Held: The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be
officer to stop a suspicious individual briefly in order to determine
secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against
his identity or to maintain the status quo while obtaining more
unreasonable searches and seizures. However, where the search is
information, rather than to simply shrug his shoulders and allow a
made pursuant to a lawful arrest, there is no need to obtain a
crime to occur. Herein, Patrolman Espiritu and his companions
search warrant. A lawful arrest without a warrant may be made by
observed during their surveillance that Manalili had red eyes and
a peace officer or a private person under the following
was wobbling like a drunk along the Caloocan City Cemetery, which
circumstances. Section 5 provides that “a peace officer or a private
according to police information was a popular hangout of drug
person may, without a warrant, arrest a person (a) When, in his
addicts. From his experience as a member of the Anti-Narcotics
presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually
Unit of the Caloocan City Police, such suspicious behavior was
committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an
characteristic of drug addicts who were "high." The policemen
offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal
therefore had sufficient reason to stop Manalili to investigate if he
knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has
was actually high on drugs. During such investigation, they found
committed it; and (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 request to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the
pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one Philippines, after its failure to acquire one from the Department of
confinement to another. In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and Foreign Affairs). Chua provided a completely different story,
(b) hereof, the person arrested without a warrant shall be claiming that the bags belong to his employer Cho Chu Rong, who
forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail, and he shall he accompanied in the speedboat; that they decided to dock when
be proceeded against in accordance with Rule 112, Section 7." they were low on fuel and telephone battery; that the police, with
Herein, Malmstedt was caught in flagrante delicto, when he was nary any spoken word but only gestures and hand movements,
transporting prohibited drugs. Thus, the search made upon his escorted him to the precinct where he was handcuffed and tied to
personal effects falls squarely under paragraph (1) of the foregoing a chair; that the police, led by an officer, arrived with the motor
provisions of law, which allow a warrantless search incident to a engine of the speedboat and a bag, which they presented to him;
lawful arrest. that the police inspected opened the bag, weighed the contents,
then proclaimed them as methamphetamine hydrochloride. In a
People vs. Chua Ho San [GR 128222, 17 June 1999] decision promulgated on 10 February 1997, the RTC convicted
Chua for transporting 28.7 kilos of methamphetamine
Facts: In response to reports of rampant smuggling of firearms and
hydrochloride without legal authority to do so. Chua prays for the
other contraband, Jim Lagasca Cid, as Chief of Police of the
reversal of the RTC decision and his acquittal before the Supreme
Bacnotan Police Station, of La Union began patrolling the Bacnotan
coastline with his officers. While monitoring the coastal area of
Barangay Bulala on 29 March 1995, he intercepted a radio call at Issue: Whether persistent reports of rampant smuggling of firearm
around 12:45 p.m. from Barangay Captain Juan Almoite of and other contraband articles, Chua's watercraft differing in
Barangay Tammocalao requesting police assistance regarding an appearance from the usual fishing boats that commonly cruise over
unfamiliar speedboat the latter had spotted, which looked the Bacnotan seas, Chua’s illegal entry into the Philippines, Chua’s
different from the boats ordinarily used by fisherfolk of the area suspicious behavior, i.e. he attempted to flee when he saw the
and was poised to dock at Tammocalao shores. Cid and 6 of his men police authorities, and the apparent ease by which Chua can return
led by his Chief Investigator, SPO1 Reynoso Badua, proceeded to and navigate his speedboat with immediate dispatch towards
forthwith to Tammocalao beach, conferred with Almoite, and the high seas, constitute "probable cause."
observed that the speedboat ferried a lone male passenger. When
the speedboat landed, the male passenger alighted, and using both Held: No. Enshrined in the Constitution is the inviolable right to
hands, carried what appeared a multicolored strawbag, and walked privacy of home and person. It explicitly ordains that people have
towards the road. By this time, Almoite, Cid and Badua, the latter the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects
two conspicuous in their uniform and issued side-arms, became against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature
suspicious of the man as he suddenly changed direction and broke and for any purpose. Inseparable, and not merely corollary or
into a run upon seeing the approaching officers. Badua, prevented incidental to said right and equally hallowed in and by the
the man from fleeing by holding on to his right arm. Although Cid Constitution, is the exclusionary principle which decrees that any
introduced themselves as police officers, the man appeared evidence obtained in violation of said right is inadmissible for any
impassive. Speaking in English, then in Tagalog, and later in Ilocano, purpose in any proceeding. The Constitutional proscription against
Cid then requested the man to open his bag, but he seemed not to unreasonable searches and seizures does not, of course, forestall
understand. Cid then resorted to "sign language," motioning with reasonable searches and seizure. This interdiction against
his hands for the man to open the bag. The man apparently warrantless searches and seizures, however, is not absolute and
understood and acceded to the request. A search of the bag yielded such warrantless searches and seizures have long been deemed
several transparent plastic packets containing yellowish crystalline permissible by jurisprudence. The Rules of Court recognize
substances. As Cid wished to proceed to the police station, he permissible warrantless arrests, to wit: (1) arrests in flagrante
signaled the man to follow, but the latter did not comprehend. delicto, (2) arrests effected in hot pursuit, and (3) arrests of
Hence, Cid placed his arm around the shoulders of the man and escaped prisoners. The prosecution and the defense painted
escorted the latter to the police headquarters. At the police station, extremely divergent versions of the incident, but the Court is
Cid then "recited and informed the man of his constitutional rights" certain that Chua was arrested and his bag searched without the
to remain silent, to have the assistance of a counsel, etc. Eliciting benefit of a warrant. There are no facts on record reasonably
no response from the man, Cid ordered his men to find a resident suggestive or demonstrative of Chua’s participation in an ongoing
of the area who spoke Chinese to act as an interpreter. In the criminal enterprise that could have spurred police officers from
meantime, Badua opened the bag and counted 29 plastic packets conducting the obtrusive search. The RTC never took the pains of
containing yellowish crystalline substances. The interpreter, Mr. Go pointing to such facts, but predicated mainly its decision on the
Ping Guan, finally arrived, through whom the man was "apprised of finding that "accused was caught red-handed carrying the bagful of
his constitutional rights." When the policemen asked the man shabu when apprehended." In short, there is no probable cause.
several questions, he retreated to his obstinate reticence and Persistent reports of rampant smuggling of firearm and other
merely showed his ID with the name Chua Ho San printed thereon. contraband articles, Chua's watercraft differing in appearance from
Chua's bag and its contents were sent to the PNP Crime Laboratory the usual fishing boats that commonly cruise over the Bacnotan
at Camp Diego Silang, Carlatan, San Fernando, La Union for seas, Chua’s illegal entry into the Philippines, Chua’s suspicious
laboratory examination. In the meantime, Chua was detained at behavior, i.e. he attempted to flee when he saw the police
the Bacnotan Police Station. Later, Police Chief Inspector and authorities, and the apparent ease by which Chua can return to and
Forensic Chemist Theresa Ann Bugayong Cid (wife of Cid), navigate his speedboat with immediate dispatch towards the high
conducted a laboratory examination of 29 plastic packets, adn in seas, do not constitute "probable cause." None of the telltale clues,
her Chemistry Report D-025-95, she stated that her qualitative e.g., bag or package emanating the pungent odor of marijuana or
examination established the contents of the plastic packets, other prohibited drug, 20 confidential report and/or positive
weighing 28.7 kilos, to be positive of methamphetamine identification by informers of courier(s) of prohibited drug and/or
hydrochloride or shabu, a regulated drug. Chua was initially the time and place where they will transport/deliver the same,
charged with illegal possession of methamphetamine suspicious demeanor or behavior and suspicious bulge in the waist
hydrochloride before the RTC (Criminal Case 4037). However, — accepted by the Court as sufficient to justify a warrantless arrest
pursuant to the recommendation of the Office of the Provincial exists in the case. There was no classified information that a
Prosecutor of San Fernando, La Union, the information was foreigner would disembark at Tammocalao beach bearing
subsequently amended to allege that Chua was in violation of prohibited drug on the date in question. Chua was not identified as
Section 15, Article III of RA 6425 as amended by RA 7659 (illegal a drug courier by a police informer or agent. The fact that the vessel
transport of a regulated drug). At his arraignment on 31 July 1995, that ferried him to shore bore no resemblance to the fishing boats
where the amended complaint was read to him by a Fukien- of the area did not automatically mark him as in the process of
speaking interpreter, Chua entered a plea of not guilty. Trial finally perpetrating an offense. The search cannot therefore be
ensued, with interpreters assigned to Chua (upon the RTC's direct denominated as incidental to an arrest. To reiterate, the search was
not incidental to an arrest. There was no warrant of arrest and the sidewalks, magazines, publications and other reading materials
warrantless arrest did not fall under the exemptions allowed by the believed to be obscene, pornographic and indecent and later
Rules of Court as already shown. From all indications, the search burned the seized materials in public at the University belt along
was nothing but a fishing expedition. Casting aside the regulated C.M. Recto Avenue, Manila, in the presence of Mayor Bagatsing
substance as evidence, the same being the fruit of a poisonous and several officers and members of various student organizations.
tree, the remaining evidence on record are insufficient, feeble and Among the publications seized, and later burned, was "Pinoy
ineffectual to sustain Chua’s conviction. Playboy" magazines published and co-edited by Leo Pita. On 7
December 1983, Pita filed a case for injunction with prayer for
Espano vs. Court of Appeals [GR 120431, 1 April 1998] issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction against Mayor
Bagatsing and Narcisco Cabrera, as superintendent of Western
Facts: On 14 July 1991, at about 12:30 a.m., Pat. Romeo Pagilagan
Police District of the City of Manila, seeking to enjoin and or
and other police officers, namely, Pat. Wilfredo Aquilino, Simplicio
restrain Bagatsing, Cabrera and their agents from confiscating his
Rivera, and Erlindo Lumboy of the Western Police District (WPD),
magazines or from otherwise preventing the sale or circulation
Narcotics Division went to Zamora and Pandacan Streets, Manila to
thereof claiming that the magazine is a decent, artistic and
confirm reports of drug pushing in the area. They saw Rodolfo
educational magazine which is not per se obscene, and that the
Espano selling "something" to another person. After the alleged
publication is protected by the Constitutional guarantees of
buyer left, they approached Espano, identified themselves as
freedom of speech and of the press. On 12 December 1983, Pita
policemen, and frisked him. The search yielded two plastic
filed an Urgent Motion for issuance of a temporary restraining
cellophane tea bags of marijuana . When asked if he had more
order against indiscriminate seizure, confiscation and burning of
marijuana, he replied that there was more in his house. The
plaintiffs "Pinoy Playboy" Magazines, pending hearing on the
policemen went to his residence where they found ten more
petition for preliminary injunction in view of Mayor Bagatsing's
cellophane tea bags of marijuana. Espano was brought to the police
pronouncement to continue the Anti-Smut Campaign. The Court
headquarters where he was charged with possession of prohibited
granted the temporary restraining order on 14 December 1983. On
drugs. On 24 July 1991, Espano posted bail and the trial court issued
5 January 1984, Pita filed his Memorandum in support of the
his order of release on 29 July 1991. On 14 August 1992, the trial
issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction, raising the issue as
court rendered a decision, convicting Espano of the crime charged.
to "whether or not the defendants, and or their agents can without
Espano appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals. The
a court order confiscate or seize plaintiff's magazine before any
appellate court, however, on 15 January 1995 affirmed the decision
judicial finding is made on whether said magazine is obscene or
of the trial court in toto. Espano filed a petition for review with the
not." The restraining order lapsed on 3 January 1984, Pita filed an
Supreme Court.
urgent motion for issuance of another restraining order, which was
Issue: Whether the search of Espano’s home after his arrest does opposed by Bagatsing on the ground that issuance of a second
not violate against his right against unreasonable search and restraining order would violate the Resolution of the Supreme
seizure. Court dated 11 January 1983, providing for the Interim Rules
Relative to the Implementation of Batas Pambansa 129, which
Held: Espano's arrest falls squarely under Rule 113 Section 5(a) of provides that a temporary restraining order shall be effective only
the Rules of Court. He was caught in flagranti as a result of a buy- for 20 days from date of its issuance. On 11 January 1984, the trial
bust operation conducted by police officers on the basis of court issued an Order setting the case for hearing on 16 January
information received regarding the illegal trade of drugs within the 1984 "for the parties to adduce evidence on the question of
area of Zamora and Pandacan Streets, Manila. The police officer whether the publication 'Pinoy Playboy Magazine' alleged (sic)
saw Espano handing over something to an alleged buyer. After the seized, confiscated and or burned by the defendants, are obscence
buyer left, they searched him and discovered two cellophanes of per se or not." On 3 February 1984, the trial court promulgated the
marijuana. His arrest was, therefore, lawful and the two cellophane Order appealed from denying the motion for a writ of preliminary
bags of marijuana seized were admissible in evidence, being the injunction, and dismissing the case for lack of merit. Likewise, the
fruits of the crime. As for the 10 cellophane bags of marijuana Appellate Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the freedom of
found at Espano's residence, however, the same inadmissible in the press is not without restraint, as the state has the right to
evidence. The articles seized from Espano during his arrest were protect society from pornographic literature that is offensive to
valid under the doctrine of search made incidental to a lawful public morals, as indeed we have laws punishing the author,
arrest. The warrantless search made in his house, however, which publishers and sellers of obscene publications; and that the right
yielded ten cellophane bags of marijuana became unlawful since against unreasonable searches and seizures recognizes certain
the police officers were not armed with a search warrant at the exceptions, as when there is consent to the search or seizure, or
time. Moreover, it was beyond the reach and control of Espano. search is an incident to an arrest, or is conducted in a vehicle or
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, movable structure. Pita filed the petition for review with the
papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of Supreme Court.
whatever nature and for any purposes shall be inviolable, and no
search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon Issue: Whether the Mayor can order the seizure of “obscene”
probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after materials as a result of an anti-smut campaign.
examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the
Held: The Court is not convinced that Bagatsing and Cabrera have
witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to
shown the required proof to justify a ban and to warrant
be searched and the persons or things to be seized." An exception
confiscation of the literature for which mandatory injunction had
to the said rule is a warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest
been sought below. First of all, they were not possessed of a lawful
for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of
court order: (1) finding the said materials to be pornography, and
the commission of an offense. It may extend beyond the person of
(2) authorizing them to carry out a search and seizure, by way of a
the one arrested to include the premises or surroundings under his
search warrant. The fact that the former Mayor's act was
immediate control. Herein, the ten cellophane bags of marijuana
sanctioned by "police power" is no license to seize property in
seized at petitioner's house after his arrest at Pandacan and
disregard of due process. Presidential Decrees 960 and 969 are,
Zamora Streets do not fall under the said exceptions.
arguably, police power measures, but they are not, by themselves,
Pita vs. Court of Appeals [GR 80806, 5 October 1989] authorities for high-handed acts. They do not exempt our law
enforcers, in carrying out the decree of the twin presidential
Facts: On December 1 and 3, 1983, pursuing an Anti-Smut issuances, from the commandments of the Constitution, the right
Campaign initiated by the Mayor of the City of Manila, Ramon D. to due process of law and the right against unreasonable searches
Bagatsing, elements of the Special Anti-Narcotics Group, Auxiliary and seizures, specifically. Significantly, the Decrees themselves lay
Services Bureau, Western Police District, INP of the Metropolitan down procedures for implementation. It is basic that searches and
Police Force of Manila, seized and confiscated from dealers, seizures may be done only through a judicial warrant, otherwise,
distributors, newsstand owners and peddlers along Manila they become unreasonable and subject to challenge. The Court
finds greater reason to reprobate the questioned raid, in the fishing boats in issue, the same were engaged in legitimate fishing
complete absence of a warrant, valid or invalid. The fact that the operations off the coast of Palawan; that by virtue of the offer of
present case involves an obscenity rap makes it no different from compromise dated 13 September 1965 by the company to the
Burgos vs. Chief of Staff AFP, a political case, because speech is Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the numerous
speech, whether political or "obscene." Although the Court is not violations of the Fishery Laws, if any, by the crew members of the
ruling out warrantless searches, the search must have been an vessels were settled. On 18 October 1965, Judge Francisco Arca
incident to a lawful arrest, and the arrest must be on account of a issued an order granting the issuance of the writ of preliminary
crime committed. Here, no party has been charged, nor are such mandatory injunction and issued the preliminary writ upon the
charges being readied against any party, under Article 201, as filing by the company of a bond of P5,000.00 for the release of the
amended, of the Revised Penal Code. There is no "accused" here to two vessels. On 19 October 1965, the Commission and the Navy
speak of, who ought to be "punished". Further, to say that the filed a motion for reconsideration of the order issuing the
Mayor could have validly ordered the raid (as a result of an anti- preliminary writ on 18 October 1965 on the ground, among others,
smut campaign) without a lawful search warrant because, in his that on 18 October 1965 the Philippine Navy received from the
opinion, "violation of penal laws" has been committed, is to make Palawan CFI two orders dated October 2 and 4, 1965 requiring the
the Mayor judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one. Thus, the Philippine Navy to hold the fishing boats in custody and directing
court mae a resume, to wit: (1) The authorities must apply for the that the said vessels should not be released until further orders
issuance of a search warrant from a judge, if in their opinion, an from the Court, and that the bond of P5,000.00 is grossly
obscenity rap is in order; (2) The authorities must convince the insufficient to cover the Government's losses in case the two
court that the materials sought to be seized are "obscene", and vessels, which are worth P495,000.00, are placed beyond the reach
pose a clear and present danger of an evil substantive enough to of the Government, thus frustrating their forfeiture as instruments
warrant State interference and action; (3) The judge must of the crime. On 23 November 1965, Judge Arca denied the said
determine whether or not the same are indeed "obscene:" the motion for reconsideration. The Commission and the Navy filed a
question is to be resolved on a case-to-case basis and on His petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction
Honor's sound discretion. (4) If, in the opinion of the court, to restrain Judge Arca from enforcing his order dated 18 October
probable cause exists, it may issue the search warrant prayed for; 1965, and the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction thereunder
(5) The proper suit is then brought in the court under Article 201 of issued.
the Revised Penal Code; and (6) Any conviction is subject to appeal.
The appellate court may assess whether or not the properties Issue: Whether the Fisheries Commissioner and the Navy can
seized are indeed "obscene." The Court states, however, that validly direct and/or effect the seizure of the vessels of the
"these do not foreclose, however, defenses under the Constitution company for illegal fishing by the use of dynamite and without the
or applicable statutes, or remedies against abuse of official power requisite licenses.
under the Civil Code or the Revised Penal code."
Held: Section 4 of Republic Act 3512 approved on 20 March 1963
Roldan vs. Arca [GR L-25434, 25 July 1975] empowers the Fisheries Commissioner to carry out the provisions
of the Fisheries Act, as amended, and all rules and regulations
Facts: On 3 April 1964, Morabe, De Guzman & Company filed with promulgated thereunder, to make searches and seizures personally
the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Manila a civil case (56701) or through his duly authorized representatives in accordance with
against Fisheries Commissioner Arsenio N. Roldan, Jr., for the the Rules of Court, of "explosives such as dynamites and the like;
recovery of fishing vessel Tony Lex VI which had been seized and including fishery products, fishing equipment, tackle and other
impounded by the Fisheries Commissioner through the Philippine things that are subject to seizure under existing fishery laws"; and
Navy. On 10 April 1964, the company prayed for a writ of "to effectively implement the enforcement of existing fishery laws
preliminary mandatory injunction with the CFI, but said prayer was on illegal fishing." Paragraph 5 of Section 4 of the same Republic
denied. On 28 April 1964, the CFI set aside its order of 10 April 1964 Act 3512 likewise transferred to and vested in the Philippine
and granted the company's motion for reconsideration praying for Fisheries Commission "all the powers, functions and duties
preliminary mandatory injunction. Thus, the company took heretofore exercised by the Bureau of Customs, Philippine Navy
possession of the vessel Tony Lex VI from the Philippine Fisheries and Philippine Constabulary over fishing vessels and fishery
Commission adn the Philippine Navy by virtue of the said writ. On matters." Section 12 of the Fisheries Act, otherwise known as
10 December 1964, the CFI dismissed Civil Case 56701 for failure of Republic Act 4003, as amended, prohibits fishing with dynamites or
the company to prosecute as well as for failure of the Commission other explosives which is penalized by Section 76 thereof "by a fine
and the Navy to appear on the scheduled date of hearing. The of not less than P1,500.00 nor more than P5,000.00, and by
vessel, Tony Lex VI or Srta. Winnie however, remained in the imprisonment for not less than one (1) year and six (6) months nor
possession of the company. On 20 July 1965, the Fisheries more than five (5) years, aside from the confiscation and forfeiture
Commissioner requested the Philippine Navy to apprehend vessels of all explosives, boats, tackles, apparel, furniture, and other
Tony Lex VI and Tony Lex III, also respectively called Srta. Winnie apparatus used in fishing in violation of said Section 12 of this Act."
and Srta. Agnes, for alleged violations of some provisions of the Section 78 of the same Fisheries Law provides that "in case of a
Fisheries Act and the rules and regulations promulgated second offense, the vessel, together with its tackle, apparel,
thereunder. On August 5 or 6, 1965, the two fishing boats were furniture and stores shall be forfeited to the Government." The
actually seized for illegal fishing with dynamite. Fish caught with second paragraph of Section 12 also provides that "the possession
dynamite and sticks of dynamite were then found aboard the two and/or finding, of dynamite, blasting caps and other explosives in
vessels. On 18 August 1965, the Fisheries Commissioner requested any fishing boat shall constitute a presumption that the said
the Palawan Provincial Fiscal to file criminal charges against the dynamite and/or blasting caps and explosives are being used for
crew members of the fishing vessels. On 30 September 1965, there fishing purposes in violation of this Section, and that the possession
were filed in the CFI of Palawan a couple of informations, one or discover in any fishing boat or fish caught or killed by the use of
against the crew members of Tony Lex III, and another against the dynamite or other explosives, under expert testimony, shall
crew members of Tony Lex VI — both for violations of Act 4003, as constitute a presumption that the owner, if present in the fishing
amended by Commonwealth Acts 462, 659 and 1088, i.e., for illegal boat, or the fishing crew have been fishing with dynamite or other
fishing with the use of dynamite. On the same day, the Fiscal filed explosives." Under Section 78 of the Fisheries Act, as amended, any
an ex parte motion to hold the boats in custody as instruments and person, association or corporation fishing in deep sea fishery
therefore evidence of the crime, and cabled the Fisheries without the corresponding license prescribed in Sections 17 to 22
Commissioner to detain the vessels. On October 2 and 4, likewise, Article V of the Fisheries Act or any other order or regulation
the CFI of Palawan ordered the Philippine Navy to take the boats in deriving force from its provisions, "shall be punished for each
custody. On 2 October 1965, the company filed a complaint with offense by a fine of not more than P5,000.00, or imprisonment, for
application for preliminary mandatory injunction (Civil Case 62799) not more than one year, or both, in the discretion of the Court;
with the CFI of Manila against the Commission and the Navy. Provided, That in case of an association or corporation, the
Among others, it was alleged that at the time of the seizure of the President or manager shall be directly responsible for the acts of
his employees or laborers if it is proven that the latter acted with a blanket authority to make searches and/or seizures without
his knowledge; otherwise the responsibility shall extend only as far search warrant or court order in violation of the Constitution. In the
as fine is concerned: Provided, further, That in the absence of a Supreme Court's decision dated 29 September 1989, Valmonte’s
known owner of the vessel, the master, patron or person in charge and ULAP’s petition for prohibition, seeking the declaration of the
of such vessel shall be responsible for any violation of this Act: and checkpoints as unconstitutional and their dismantling and/or
Provided, further, That in case of a second offense, the vessel banning, was dismissed. Valmonte and ULAP filed the motion and
together with its tackle, apparel, furniture and stores shall be supplemental motion for reconsideration of said decision.
forfeited to the Government." Under Section 13 of Executive Order
389 of 23 December 1950, reorganizing the Armed Forces of the Issue: Whether checkpoints serve as a blanket authority for
Philippines, the Philippine Navy has the function, among others, "to government officials for warrantless search and seizure and, thus,
assist the proper governmental agencies in the enforcement of are violative of the Constitution.
laws and regulations pertaining to Fishing. Section 2210 of the
Held: Nowhere in the Supreme Court's decision of 24 May 1990 did
Tariff and Customs Code, as amended by PD 34 of 27 October 1972,
the Court legalize all checkpoints, i.e. at all times and under all
authorized any official or person exercising police authority under
circumstances. What the Court declared is, that checkpoints are
the provisions of the Code, to search and seize any vessel or air
not illegal per se. Thus, under exceptional circumstances, as where
craft as well as any trunk, package, bag or envelope on board and
the survival of organized government is on the balance, or where
to search any person on board for any breach or violation of the
the lives and safety of the people are in grave peril, checkpoints
customs and tariff laws. Herein, when the Philippine Navy, upon
may be allowed and installed by the government. Implicit in this
request of the Fisheries Commissioner, apprehended on August 5
proposition is, that when the situation clears and such grave perils
or 6, 1965 the fishing boats Tony Lex III and Tony Lex VI, otherwise
are removed, checkpoints will have absolutely no reason to remain.
known respectively as Srta. Agnes and Srta. Winnie, these vessels
Recent and on-going events have pointed to the continuing validity
were found to be without the necessary license in violation of
and need for checkpoints manned by either military or police
Section 903 of the Tariff and Customs Code and therefore subject
forces. Although no one can be compelled, under our libertarian
to seizure under Section 2210 of the same Code, and illegally
system, to share with the present government its ideological
fishing with explosives and without fishing license required by
beliefs and practices, or commend its political, social and economic
Sections 17 and 18 of the Fisheries Law. Search and seizure without
policies or performance; one must concede to it the basic right to
search warrant of vessels and air crafts for violations of the customs
defend itself from its enemies and, while in power, to pursue its
laws have been the traditional exception to the constitutional
program of government intended for public welfare; and in the
requirement of a search warrant, because the vessel can be quickly
pursuit of those objectives, the government has the equal right,
moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the search warrant
under its police power, to select the reasonable means and
must be sought before such warrant could be secured; hence it is
methods for best achieving them. The checkpoint is evidently one
not practicable to require a search warrant before such search or
of such means it has selected. Admittedly, the routine checkpoint
seizure can be constitutionally effected. The same exception
stop does intrude, to a certain extent, on motorist's right to "free
should apply to seizures of fishing vessels breaching our fishery
passage without interruption", but it cannot be denied that, as a
laws: They are usually equipped with powerful motors that enable
rule, it involves only a brief detention of travellers during which the
them to elude pursuing ships of the Philippine Navy or Coast Guard.
vehicle's occupants are required to answer a brief question or two.
Valmonte vs. de Villa [GR 83988, 24 May 1990] For as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants
subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is
Facts: On 20 January 1987, the National Capital Region District limited to a visual search, said routine checks cannot be regarded
Command (NCRDC) was activated pursuant to Letter of Instruction as violative of an individual's right against unreasonable search.
02/87 of the Philippine General Headquarters, AFP, with the These routine checks, when conducted in a fixed area, are even less
mission of conducting security operations within its area of intrusive. Further, vehicles are generally allowed to pass these
responsibility and peripheral areas, for the purpose of establishing checkpoints after a routine inspection and a few questions. If
an effective territorial defense, maintaining peace and order, and vehicles are stopped and extensively searched, it is because of
providing an atmosphere conducive to the social, economic and some probable cause which justifies a reasonable belief of the men
political development of the National Capital Region. 1 As part of at the checkpoints that either the motorist is a law-offender or the
its duty to maintain peace and order, the NCRDC installed contents of the vehicle are or have been instruments of some
checkpoints in various parts of Valenzuela, Metro Manila. Ricardo offense. By the same token, a warrantless search of incoming and
C. Valmonte and the Union of Lawyers and Advocates for People's outgoing passengers, at the arrival and departure areas of an
Right (ULAP) filed a petition for prohibition with preliminary international airport, is a practice not constitutionally
injunction and/or temporary restraining order witht the Supreme objectionable because it is founded on public interest, safety, and
Court, seeking the declaration of checkpoints in Valenzuela, Metro necessity. Lastly, the Court's decision on checkpoints does not, in
Manila or elsewhere, as unconstitutional and the dismantling and any way, validate nor condone abuses committed by the military
banning of the same or, in the alternative, to direct the manning the checkpoints. The Court's decision was concerned with
respondents to formulate guidelines in the implementation of power, i.e. whether the government employing the military has the
checkpoints, for the protection of the people. They aver that, power to install said checkpoints. Once that power is
because of the installation of said checkpoints, the residents of acknowledged, the Court's inquiry ceases. True, power implies the
Valenzuela are worried of being harassed and of their safety being possibility of its abuse. But whether there is abuse in a particular
placed at the arbitrary, capricious and whimsical disposition of the situation is a different "ball game" to be resolved in the
military manning the checkpoints, considering that their cars and constitutional arena. In any situation, where abuse marks the
vehicles are being subjected to regular searches and check-ups, operation of a checkpoint, the citizen is not helpless. For the
especially at night or at dawn, without the benefit of a search military is not above but subject to the law. And the courts exist to
warrant and/or court order. Their alleged fear for their safety see that the law is supreme. Soldiers, including those who man
increased when, at dawn of 9 July 1988, Benjamin Parpon, a supply checkpoints, who abuse their authority act beyond the scope of
officer of the Municipality of Valenzuela, Bulacan, was gunned their authority and are, therefore, liable criminally and civilly for
down allegedly in cold blood by the members of the NCRDC their abusive acts.
manning the checkpoint along McArthur Highway at Malinta,
Valenzuela, for ignoring and/or refusing to submit himself to the Caballes vs. Court of Appeals [GR 136292, 15 January 2002]
checkpoint and for continuing to speed off inspire of warning shots
Facts: About 9:15 p.m. of 28 June 1989, Sgt. Victorino Noceja and
fired in the air. Valmonte also claims that, on several occasions, he
Pat. Alex de Castro, while on a routine patrol in Barangay
had gone thru these checkpoints where he was stopped and his car
Sampalucan, Pagsanjan, Laguna, spotted a passenger jeep
subjected to search/check-up without a court order or search
unusually covered with "kakawati" leaves. Suspecting that the jeep
warrant. They further contend that the said checkpoints give Gen.
was loaded with smuggled goods, the two police officers flagged
Renato de Villa and the National Capital Region District Command
down the vehicle. The jeep was driven by Rudy Caballes y Taiño.
When asked what was loaded on the jeep, he did not answer, but Unfortunately, none exists in the present case. Further, the
he appeared pale and nervous. With Caballes' consent, the police evidence is lacking that Caballes intentionally surrendered his right
officers checked the cargo and they discovered bundles of 3.08 mm against unreasonable searches. The manner by which the two
aluminum/galvanized conductor wires exclusively owned by police officers allegedly obtained the consent of Caballes for them
National Power Corporation (NAOCOR). The conductor wires to conduct the search leaves much to be desired. When Caballes'
weighed 700 kilos and valued at P55,244.45. Noceja asked Caballes vehicle was flagged down, Sgt. Noceja approached Caballes and
where the wires came from and Caballes answered that they came "told him I will look at the contents of his vehicle and he answered
from Cavinti, a town approximately 8 kilometers away from in the positive." By uttering those words, it cannot be said the
Sampalucan. Thereafter, Caballes and the vehicle with the police officers were asking or requesting for permission that they
highvoltage wires were brought to the Pagsanjan Police Station. be allowed to search the vehicle of Caballes. For all intents and
Danilo Cabale took pictures of Caballes and the jeep loaded with purposes, they were informing, nay, imposing upon Caballes that
the wires which were turned over to the Police Station Commander they will search his vehicle. The "consent" given under intimidating
of Pagsanjan, Laguna. Caballes was incarcerated for 7 days in the or coercive circumstances is no consent within the purview of the
Municipal jail. Caballes was charged with the crime of theft in an constitutional guaranty. In addition, in cases where the Court
information dated 16 October 1989. During the arraignment, upheld the validity of consented search, it will be noted that the
Caballes pleaded not guilty and hence, trial on the merits ensued. police authorities expressly asked, in no uncertain terms, for the
On 27 April 1993, Regional Trial Court of Santa Cruz, Laguna consent of the accused to be searched. And the consent of the
rendered judgment, finding Caballes, guilty beyond reasonable accused was established by clear and positive proof. Neither can
doubt of the crime of theft. In a resolution dated 9 November 1998, Caballes' passive submission be construed as an implied
the trial court denied Caballes' motion for reconsideration. The acquiescence to the warrantless search. Casting aside the cable
Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court decision on 15 September wires as evidence, the remaining evidence on record are
1998. Caballes appealed the decision by certiorari. insufficient to sustain Caballes' conviction. His guilt can only be
established without violating the constitutional right of the accused
Issue: Whether Caballes’ passive submission to the statement of against unreasonable search and seizure.
Sgt. Noceja that the latter "will look at the contents of his vehicle
and he answered in the positive" be considered as waiver on People vs. Libnao [GR 136860, 20 January 2003]
Caballes’ part on warrantless search and seizure.
Facts: On August 1996, intelligence operatives of the Philippine
Held: Enshrined in our Constitution is the inviolable right of the National Police (PNP) stationed in Tarlac, Tarlac began conducting
people to be secure in their persons and properties against surveillance operation on suspected drug dealers in the area. They
unreasonable searches and seizures, as defined under Section 2, learned from their asset that a certain woman from Tajiri, Tarlac
Article III thereof. The exclusionary rule under Section 3(2), Article and a companion from Baguio City were transporting illegal drugs
III of the Constitution bars the admission of evidence obtained in once a month in big bulks. On 19 October 1996, at about 10 p.m.,
violation of such right. The constitutional proscription against Chief Inspector Benjamin Arceo, Tarlac Police Chief, held a briefing
warrantless searches and seizures is not absolute but admits of in connection with a tip which his office received that the two drug
certain exceptions, namely: (1) warrantless search incidental to a pushers, riding in a tricycle, would be making a delivery that night.
lawful arrest recognized under Section 12, Rule 126 of the Rules of An hour later, the Police Alert Team installed a checkpoint in
Court and by prevailing jurisprudence; (2) seizure of evidence in Barangay Salapungan to apprehend the suspects. Witness SPO1
plain view; (3) search of moving vehicles; (4) consented warrantless Marlon Gamotea, PO3 Florante Ferrer and SPO3 Roberto Aquino
search; (5) customs search; (6) stop and frisk situations (Terry were assigned to man the checkpoint. At about 1:00 a.m. of the
search); and (7) exigent and emergency circumstances. In cases following day, SPO1 Gamotea and PO3 Ferrer flagged down a
where warrant is necessary, the steps prescribed by the passing tricycle. It had two female passengers seated inside, who
Constitution and reiterated in the Rules of Court must be complied were later identified as Agpanga Libnao and Rosita Nunga. In front
with. In the exceptional events where warrant is not necessary to of them was a black bag. Suspicious of the black bag and the two’s
effect a valid search or seizure, or when the latter cannot be uneasy behavior when asked about its ownership and content, the
performed except without a warrant, what constitutes a officers invited them to Kabayan Center 2 located at the same
reasonable or unreasonable search or seizure is purely a judicial barangay. They brought with them the black bag. Upon reaching
question, determinable from the uniqueness of the circumstances the center, PO3 Ferrer fetched Barangay Captain Roy Pascual to
involved, including the purpose of the search or seizure, the witness the opening of the black bag. In the meantime, the two
presence or absence of probable cause, the manner in which the women and the bag were turned over to the investigator on duty,
search and seizure was made, the place or thing searched and the SPO3 Arthur Antonio. As soon as the barangay captain arrived, the
character of the articles procured. It is not controverted that the black bag was opened in the presence of Libnao, Nunga, and
search and seizure conducted by the police officers was not personnel of the center. Found inside it were 8 bricks of leaves
authorized by a search warrant. The mere mobility of these sealed in plastic bags and covered with newspaper. The leaves
vehicles, however, does not give the police officers unlimited were suspected to be marijuana. To determine who owns the bag
discretion to conduct indiscriminate searches without warrants if and its contents, SPO3 Antonio interrogated the two. Nunga stated
made within the interior of the territory and in the absence of that it was owned by Libnao. The latter, in turn, disputed this
probable cause. Herein, the police officers did not merely conduct allegation. Thereafter, they were made to sign a confiscation
a visual search or visual inspection of Caballes' vehicle. They had to receipt without the assistance of any counsel, as they were not
reach inside the vehicle, lift the kakawati leaves and look inside the informed of their right to have one. During the course of the
sacks before they were able to see the cable wires. It thus cannot investigation, not even close relatives of theirs were present. The
be considered a simple routine check. Also, Caballes' vehicle was seized articles were later brought to the PNP Crime Laboratory in
flagged down because the police officers who were on routine San Fernando, Pampanga on 23 October 1996. Forensic Chemist
patrol became suspicious when they saw that the back of the Daisy P. Babu conducted a laboratory examination on them. She
vehicle was covered with kakawati leaves which, according to concluded that the articles were marijuana leaves weighing eight
them, was unusual and uncommon. The fact that the vehicle kilos. Libnao and Nunga were charged for violation of Section 4,
looked suspicious simply because it is not common for such to be Article II of RA 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act
covered with kakawati leaves does not constitute "probable cause" of 1972, as amended. On 19 November 1998, the Regional Trial
as would justify the conduct of a search without a warrant. In Court, Branch 65, Tarlac City, found Libnao and Nunga guilty. For
addition, the police authorities do not claim to have received any their conviction, each was sentenced to suffer an imprisonment of
confidential report or tipped information that petitioner was reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of two million pesos. Libnao
carrying stolen cable wires in his vehicle which could otherwise appealed.
have sustained their suspicion. Philippine jurisprudence is replete
with cases where tipped information has become a sufficient Issue: Whether the warrantless search and seizure made upon
probable cause to effect a warrantless search and seizure. Libnao and Nunga was reasonable.
Held: The constitutional guarantee (in Article III, Section 2 of the was joined by his wife. Musa claimed that he was subjected to
1987 Constitution) is not a blanket prohibition against all searches torture when he refused to sign the document containing details of
and seizures as it operates only against "unreasonable" searches the investigation. The next day, he was taken to the fiscal‘s office
and seizures. Searches and seizures are as a rule unreasonable to which he was allegedly made to answer to a single question: that
unless authorized by a validly issued search warrant or warrant of if he owned the marijuana. He allegedly was not able to tell the
arrest. Thus, the fundamental protection accorded by the search fiscal that he had been maltreated by the NARCOM agents because
and seizure clause is that between persons and police must stand he was afraid he might be maltreated in the fiscal's office. Mari
the protective authority of a magistrate clothed with power to Musa was brought to the City Jail. Still, an information against Musa
issue or refuse to issue search warrants and warrants of arrest. Be was filed on 15 December 1989. Upon his arraignment on 11
that as it may, the requirement that a judicial warrant must be January 1990, Musa pleaded not guilty. After trial and on 31 August
obtained prior to the carrying out of a search and seizure is not 1990, the RTC Zamboanga City (Branch XII) found him guilty of
absolute. There are certain familiar exceptions to the rule, one of selling marijuana in violation of Article II, Section 4 of RA 6425.
which relates to search of moving vehicles. Warrantless search and Musa appealed to the Supreme Court.
seizure of moving vehicles are allowed in recognition of the
impracticability of securing a warrant under said circumstances as Issue: Whether the contents of the red plastic bag found in the
the vehicle can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction kitchen may be admitted as evidence as evidence acquired
in which the warrant may be sought. Peace officers in such cases, incidental to a lawful arrest.
however, are limited to routine checks where the examination of
Held: Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest authorizes
the vehicle is limited to visual inspection. When a vehicle is stopped
the arresting officer to make a search upon the person of the
and subjected to an extensive search, such would be
person arrested. An officer making an arrest may take from the
constitutionally permissible only if the officers made it upon
person arrested and money or property found upon his person
probable cause, i.e., upon a belief, reasonably arising out of
which was used in the commission of the crime or was the fruit of
circumstances known to the seizing officer, that an automobile or
the crime or which might furnish the prisoner with the means of
other vehicle contains as item, article or object which by law is
committing violence or of escaping, or which may be used as
subject to seizure and destruction. The warrantless search herein
evidence in the trial of the cause. Hence, in a buy-bust operation
is not bereft of a probable cause. The Tarlac Police Intelligence
conducted to entrap a drug-pusher, the law enforcement agents
Division had been conducting surveillance operation for three
may seize the marked money found on the person of the pusher
months in the area. The surveillance yielded the information that
immediately after the arrest even without arrest and search
once a month, Libnao and Nunga transport drugs in big bulks. At
warrants. The warrantless search and seizure, as an incident to a
10:00 pm of 19 October 1996, the police received a tip that the two
suspect's lawful arrest, may extend beyond the person of the one
will be transporting drugs that night riding a tricycle. Surely, the
arrested to include the premises or surroundings under his
two were intercepted three hours later, riding a tricycle and
immediate control. Objects in the "plain view" of an officer who has
carrying a suspicious-looking black bag, which possibly contained
the right to be in the position to have that view are subject to
the drugs in bulk. When they were asked who owned it and what
seizure and may be presented as evidence. When the discovery of
its content was, both became uneasy. Under these circumstances,
the evidence did not constitute a search, but where the officer
the warrantless search and seizure of Libnao’s bag was not illegal.
merely saw what was placed before him in full view, the
It is also clear that at the time she was apprehended, she was
warrantless seizure of the object was legal on the basis of the "plain
committing a criminal offense. She was making a delivery or
view" doctrine and upheld the admissibility of said evidence. The
transporting prohibited drugs in violation of Article II, Section 4 of
"plain view" doctrine, however, may not be used to launch
R.A. No. 6425. Under the Rules of Court, one of the instances a
unbridled searches and indiscriminate seizures nor to extend a
police officer is permitted to carry out a warrantless arrest is when
general exploratory search made solely to find evidence of
the person to be arrested is caught committing a crime in flagrante
defendant's guilt. The "plain view" doctrine is usually applied
where a police officer is not searching for evidence against the
People v. Musa [GR 96177, 27 January 1993] accused, but nonetheless inadvertently comes across an
incriminating object. What the 'plain view' cases have in common
Facts: On 13 December 1989, the Narcotics Command (NARCOM) is that the police officer in each of them had a prior justification for
in Zamboanga City conducted surveillance and test buy on a certain an intrusion in the course of which he came inadvertently across a
Mari Musa of Suterville, Zamboanga City. Information received piece of evidence incriminating the accused. The doctrine serves to
from civilian informer was that this Mari Musa was engaged in supplement the prior justification — whether it be a warrant for
selling marijuana in said place. The Narcom agent (Sgt. Ani) was another object, hot pursuit, search incident to lawful arrest, or
able to buy one newspaper-wrapped dried marijuana for P10.00, some other legitimate reason for being present unconnected with
which was turned over to the Narcom office. The next day, a buy- a search directed against the accused — and permits the
bust was planned with Sgt. Ani being the poseur-buyer. NARCOM warrantless seizure. Of course, the extension of the original
teams proceeded to the target site in 2 civilian vehicles. Ani gave justification is legitimate only where it is immediately apparent to
Musa the P20.00 marked money. Musa returned to his house and the police that they have evidence before them; the 'plain view'
gave Ani 2 newspaper wrappers containing dried marijuana. The doctrine may not be used to extend a general exploratory search
signal to apprehend Musa was given. The NARCOM team rushed to from one object to another until something incriminating at last
the location of Ani, and a NARCOM officer (Sgt. Belarga) frisked emerges. The "plain view" doctrine neither justify the seizure of the
Musa but did not find the marked money. The money was given to object where the incriminating nature of the object is not apparent
Musa’s wife who was able to slip away. Later, Belarga found a from the "plain view" of the object. Thus, the exclusion of the
plastic bag containing dried marijuana inside it somewhere in the plastic bag containing marijuana does not, however, diminish, in
kitchen. Musa was placed under arrest and was brought to the any way, the damaging effect of the other pieces of evidence
NARCOM office. One newspaper-wrapper marijuana and the presented by the prosecution to prove that the appellant sold
plastic bag containing more marijuana was sent to the PC Crime marijuana, in violation of Article II, Section 4 of the Dangerous
Laboratory, the test of which gave positive results for the presence Drugs Act of 1972. By virtue of the testimonies of Sgt. Ani and T/Sgt.
of marijuana. On the other hand, Mari Musa alleged that the Belarga and the two wrappings of marijuana sold by Musa to Sgt.
NARCOM agents, dressed in civilian clothes, got inside his house Ani, among other pieces of evidence, the guilt of Musa of the crime
without any search warrant, neither his permission to enter the charged has been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
house. The NARCOM agents searched the house and allegedly
found a red plastic bag whose contents, Mari Musa said, he did not Alih vs. Castro CASE DIGEST 151 SCRA 279
know. He also did not know if the plastic bag belonged to his June 23, 1987
brother, Faisal, who was living with him, or his father, who was
living in another house about ten arms-length away. Mari Musa
Facts: Respondents who were members of the Philippine marine
was handcuffed and was taken to the NARCOM office where he
and defense forces raided the compound occupied by petitioner in
search of loose firearms, ammunitions and explosives. A shoot-out Held:
ensued after petitioners resisted the intrusion by the respondents,
killing a number of men. The following morning, the petitioners Yes. Section 1 of R.A. 4200 entitled, ” An Act to Prohibit and
were arrested and subjected to finger –printing, paraffin testing Penalized Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations of Private
and photographing despite their objection. Several kinds of rifle, Communication and Other Purposes,” provides:
grenades and ammunitions were also confiscated.
Sec. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by
The petitioners filed an injunction suit with a prayer to have the all the parties to any private communication or spoken word, to tap
items illegally seized returned to them and invoked the provisions any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to
on the Bill of Rights secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or
spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone
The respondents admitted that the operation was done without a or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder, or
warrant but reasoned that they were acting under superior orders however otherwise described.
and that operation was necessary because of the aggravation of
the peace and order problem due to the assassination of the city The aforestated provision clearly and unequivocally makes it illegal
mayor. for any person, not authorized by all the parties to any private
communication to secretly record such communication by means
Issue: Whether or not the seizing of the items and the taking of the of a tape recorder. The law makes no distinction as to whether the
fingerprints and photographs of the petitioners and subjecting party sought to be penalized by the statute ought to be a party
them to paraffin testing are violative of the bill of Rights and are other than or different from those involved in the private
inadmissible as evidence against them. communication. The statute’s intent to penalize all persons
unauthorized to make such recording is underscored by the use of
Held: The court held that superior orders nor the suspicion that the the qualifier “any”. Consequently, as respondent Court of Appeals
respondents had against petitioners did not excuse the former correctly concluded, “even a (person) privy to a communication
from observing the guaranty provided for by the constitution who records his private conversation with another without the
against unreasonable searches and seizure. The petitioners were knowledge of the latter (will) qualify as a violator” under this
entitled to due process and should be protected from the arbitrary provision of R.A. 4200.
actions of those tasked to execute the law. Furthermore, there was
no showing that the operation was urgent nor was there any A perusal of the Senate Congressional Records, moreover, supports
showing of the petitioners as criminals or fugitives of justice to the respondent court’s conclusion that in enacting R.A. 4200 our
merit approval by virtue of Rule 113, Section 5 of the Rules of lawmakers indeed contemplated to make illegal, unauthorized
Court.The items seized, having been the “fruits of the poisonous tape recording of private conversations or communications taken
tree” were held inadmissible as evidence in any proceedings either by the parties themselves or by third persons.
against the petitioners. The operation by the respondents was
done without a warrant and so the items seized during said The nature of the conversations is immaterial to a violation of the
operation should not be acknowledged in court as evidence. But statute. The substance of the same need not be specifically alleged
said evidence should remain in the custody of the law (custodia in the information. What R.A. 4200 penalizes are the acts of
egis).However, as to the issue on finger-printing, photographing secretly overhearing, intercepting or recording private
and paraffin-testing as violative of the provision against self- communications by means of the devices enumerated therein. The
incrimination, the court held that the prohibition against self- mere allegation that an individual made a secret recording of a
incrimination applies to testimonial compulsion only. As Justice private communication by means of a tape recorder would suffice
Holmes put it in Holt v. United States, 18 “The prohibition of to constitute an offense under Section 1 of R.A. 4200. As the
compelling a man in a criminal court to be a witness against himself Solicitor General pointed out in his COMMENT before the
is a prohibition of the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort respondent court: “Nowhere (in the said law) is it required that
communications from him, not an exclusion of his body as evidence before one can be regarded as a violator, the nature of the
when it may be material. conversation, as well as its communication to a third person should
be professed.”
Petitioner’s contention that the phrase “private communication” in
Facts: Section 1 of R.A. 4200 does not include “private conversations”
narrows the ordinary meaning of the word “communication” to a
A civil case damages was filed by petitioner Socorro Ramirez in the point of absurdity. The word communicate comes from the latin
Quezon City RTC alleging that the private respondent, Ester Garcia, word communicare, meaning “to share or to impart.” In its ordinary
in a confrontation in the latter’s office, allegedly vexed, insulted signification, communication connotes the act of sharing or
and humiliated her in a “hostile and furious mood” and in a manner imparting signification, communication connotes the act of sharing
offensive to petitioner’s dignity and personality,” contrary to or imparting, as in a conversation, or signifies the “process by
morals, good customs and public policy.” which meanings or thoughts are shared between individuals
through a common system of symbols (as language signs or
In support of her claim, petitioner produced a verbatim transcript
of the event and sought damages. The transcript on which the civil
case was based was culled from a tape recording of the These definitions are broad enough to include verbal or non-verbal,
confrontation made by petitioner. As a result of petitioner’s written or expressive communications of “meanings or thoughts”
recording of the event and alleging that the said act of secretly which are likely to include the emotionally-charged exchange, on
taping the confrontation was illegal, private respondent filed a February 22, 1988, between petitioner and private respondent, in
criminal case before the Pasay RTC for violation of Republic Act the privacy of the latter’s office. Any doubts about the legislative
4200, entitled “An Act to prohibit and penalize wire tapping and body’s meaning of the phrase “private communication” are,
other related violations of private communication, and other furthermore, put to rest by the fact that the terms “conversation”
purposes.” Petitioner filed a Motion to Quash the Information, and “communication” were interchangeably used by Senator
which the RTC later on granted, on the ground that the facts Tañada in his Explanatory Note to the Bill.
charged do not constitute an offense, particularly a violation of R.A.
4200. The CA declared the RTC’s decision null and void and denied
the petitioner’s MR, hence the instant petition.


W/N the Anti-Wiretapping Act applies in recordings by one of the

parties in the conversation
Gaanan vs. Intermediate Appellate Court

[GR L-69809, 16 October 1986] ZULUETA VS. COURT OF APPEALS

Facts: Complainant Atty. Tito Pintor and his client Manuel G.R. No. 107383, February 20, 1996
Montebon were in the living room of complainant’s residence
discussing the terms for the withdrawal of the complaint for direct Facts:
assault which they filed with the Office of the City Fiscal of Cebu
This is a petition to review the decision of the Court of Appeals,
against Leonardo Laconico. After they had decided on the
affirming the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila (Branch
proposed conditions, complainant made a telephone call to
X) which ordered petitioner to return documents and papers taken
Laconico. That same morning, Laconico telephoned appellant, who
by her from private respondent's clinic without the latter's
is a lawyer, to come to his office and advise him on the settlement
knowledge and consent.
of the direct assault case because his regular lawyer, Atty. Leon
Gonzaga, went on a business trip. Petitioner Cecilia Zulueta is the wife of private respondent Alfredo
Martin. On March 26, 1982, petitioner entered the clinic of her
When complainant called, Laconico requested appellant to secretly
husband, a doctor of medicine, and in the presence of her mother,
listen to the telephone conversation through a telephone
a driver and private respondent's secretary, forcibly opened the
extension so as to hear personally the proposed conditions for the
drawers and cabinet in her husband's clinic and took 157
settlement. Twenty minutes later, complainant called again to ask
documents consisting of private correspondence between Dr.
Laconico if he was agreeable to the conditions. Laconico answered
Martin and his alleged paramours, greetings cards, cancelled
‘Yes’. Complainant then told Laconico to wait for instructions on
checks, diaries, Dr. Martin's passport, and photographs. The
where to deliver the money.
documents and papers were seized for use in evidence in a case for
Complainant called again and instructed Laconico to give the legal separation and for disqualification from the practice of
money to his wife at the office of the then Department of Public medicine which petitioner had filed against her husband.
Highways. Laconico who earlier alerted his friend Colonel Zulueta
of the Criminal Investigation Service of the Philippine Constabulary,
insisted that complainant himself should receive the money. When (1) Whether or not the documents and papers in question are
he received the money at the Igloo Restaurant, complainant was inadmissible in evidence;
arrested by agents of the Philippine Constabulary.
Appellant executed on the following day an affidavit stating that he
heard complainant demand P8,000.00 for the withdrawal of the (1) No. Indeed the documents and papers in question are
case for direct assault. Laconico attached the affidavit of appellant inadmissible in evidence. The constitutional injunction declaring
to the complainant for robbery/extortion which he filed against "the privacy of communication and correspondence [to be]
complainant. Since appellant listened to the telephone inviolable" is no less applicable simply because it is the wife (who
conversation without complainant’s consent, complainant charged thinks herself aggrieved by her husband's infidelity) who is the
appellant and Laconico with violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Act. party against whom the constitutional provision is to be enforced.
The only exception to the prohibition in the Constitution is if there
The lower court found both Gaanan and Laconico guilty of violating is a "lawful order [from a] court or when public safety or order
Section 1 of Republic Act No. 4200, which prompted petitioner to requires otherwise, as prescribed by law." Any violation of this
appeal. The IAC affirmed with modification hence the present provision renders the evidence obtained inadmissible "for any
petition for certiorari. purpose in any proceeding."
Issue: W/N an extension telephone is covered by the term “device The intimacies between husband and wife do not justify any one of
or arrangement” under Rep. Act No. 4200 them in breaking the drawers and cabinets of the other and in
ransacking them for any telltale evidence of marital infidelity. A
HELD: No. An extension telephone cannot be placed in the same
person, by contracting marriage, does not shed his/her integrity or
category as a dictaphone or dictagraph, or other devvices
his right to privacy as an individual and the constitutional
enumerated in Sec. 1 of the law as the use thereof cannot be
protection is ever available to him or to her.
considered as "tapping" the wire or cable of a telephone line. this
section refers to instruments whose installation or presence The law insures absolute freedom of communication between the
cannot be presumed by the party or parties being overheard spouses by making it privileged. Neither husband nor wife may
because, by their very nature, they are of common usage and their testify for or against the other without the consent of the affected
purpose is precisely for tapping, intercepting, or recording a spouse while the marriage subsists. Neither may be examined
telephone conversation. The telephone extension in this case was without the consent of the other as to any communication received
not installed for that purpose. It just happened to be there for in confidence by one from the other during the marriage, save for
ordinary office use. specified exceptions. But one thing is freedom of communication;
quite another is a compulsion for each one to share what one
knows with the other. And this has nothing to do with the duty of
Furthermore, it is a general rule that penal statutes must be fidelity that each owes to the other.
construed strictly in favor of the accused. Thus in the case of doubt
The review for petition is DENIED for lack of merit.
as in this case, on whether or not an extension telephone is
included in the phrase "device or arrangement" the penal statute
must be construed as not including an extension telephone.

A perusal of the Senate Congressional Record shows that our

lawmakers intended to discourage, through punishment, persons
such as government authorities or representatives of organized
groups from installing devices in order to gather evidence for use
in court or to intimidate, blackmail or gain some unwarranted
advantage over the telephone users. Consequently, the mere act
of listeneing , in order to be punishable must strictly be with the
use of the enumerated devices in RA 4200 or other similar nature.