G.R. No.


January 29, 1937

NARCISO ALVAREZ, petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF TAYABAS and THE ANTI-USURY BOARD, respondents. Facts: • The petitioner asks that the warrant of June 3, 1936, issued by the Court of First Instance of Tayabas, ordering the search of his house and the seizure, at any time of the day or night, of certain accounting books, documents and papers belonging to him in his residence situated in Infanta, Province of Tayabas, as well as the order of a later date, authorizing the agents of the Anti-Usury Board to retain the articles seized, be declared illegal and set aside, and prays that all the articles in question be returned to him. On the date above-mentioned, the chief of the secret service of the Anti-Usury Board, of the Department of Justice, presented to Judge Eduardo Gutierrez David then presiding over the Court of First Instance of Tayabas, an affidavit alleging that according to reliable information, the petitioner kept in his house in Infanta, Tayabas, books, documents, receipts, lists, chits and other papers used by him in connection with his activities as a money-lender charging usurious rates of interest in violation of the law. In his oath at the and of the affidavit, the chief of the secret service stated that his answers to the questions were correct to the best of his knowledge and belief. He did not swear to the truth of his statements upon his own knowledge of the facts but upon the information received by him from a reliable person. Upon the affidavit in question the Judge, on said date, issued the warrant which is the subject matter of the petition, ordering the search of the petitioner's house at any time of the day or night, the seizure of the books and documents above-mentioned and the immediate delivery thereof to him to be disposed of in accordance with the law. With said warrant, several agents of the Anti-Usury Board entered the petitioner's store and residence at seven o'clock on the night of June 4, 1936, and seized and took possession of the following articles: internal revenue licenses for the years 1933 to 1936, one ledger, two journals, two cashbooks, nine order books, four notebooks, four checks stubs, two memorandums, three bankbooks, two contracts, four stubs, forty-eight stubs of purchases of copra, two inventories, two bundles of bills of lading, one bundle of credit receipts, one bundle of stubs of purchases of copra, two packages of correspondence, one receipt book belonging to Luis Fernandez, fourteen bundles of invoices and other papers many documents and loan contracts with security and promissory notes, 504 chits, promissory notes and stubs of used checks of the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation. The search for and a seizure of said articles were made with the opposition of the petitioner who stated his protest below the inventories on the ground that the agents seized even the originals of the documents. As the articles had not been brought immediately to the judge who issued the search warrant, the petitioner, through his attorney, filed a motion on June 8, 1936, praying that the agent Emilio L. Siongco, or any other agent, be ordered immediately to deposit all the seized articles in the office of the clerk of court and that said agent be declared guilty of contempt for having disobeyed the order of the court. On said date the court issued an order directing Emilio L. Siongco to deposit all the articles seized within twenty-four hours from the receipt of notice thereof and giving him a period of five (5) days within which to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt of court. On June 10th, Attorney Arsenio Rodriguez, representing the Anti-Usury Board, filed a motion praying that the order of the 8th of said month be set aside and that the Anti-Usury Board be authorized to retain the articles seized for a period of thirty (30) days for the necessary investigation. On the 25th of said month the court issued an order requiring agent Emilio L. Siongco forthwith to file the search warrant and the affidavit in the court, together with the proceedings taken by him, and to present an inventory duly verified by oath of all the articles seized. On July 2nd of said year, the attorney for the petitioner filed another petition alleging that the search warrant issue was illegal and that it had not yet been returned to date together with the proceedings taken in connection therewith, and praying that said warrant be cancelled, that an order be issued directing the return of all the articles seized to the petitioner, that the agent who seized them be declared guilty of contempt of court, and that charges be filed against him for abuse of authority.

On September 10, the court issued an order holding: that the search warrant was obtained and issued in accordance with the law, that it had been duly complied with and, consequently, should not be cancelled, and that agent Siongco did not commit any contempt of court and must, therefore, be exonerated, and ordering the chief of the Anti-Usury Board in Manila to show cause, if any, within the unextendible period of 2 days from the date of notice of said order, why all the articles seized appearing in the inventory should not be returned to Alvarez. The assistant chief of the Anti-Usury Board of the Department of Justice filed a motion praying, for the reasons stated therein, that the articles seized be ordered retained for the purpose of conducting an investigation of the violation of the Anti-Usury Law committed by Alvarez. On October 10, said official again filed another motion alleging that he needed 60 days to examine 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, 36-43 and 45, and praying that he be granted said period of 60 days. In an order of October 16, the court granted him the period of 60 days to investigate said 19 documents. Alvarez, herein, asks that the search warrant as well as the order authorizing the agents of the Anti-Usury Board to retain the articles seized, be declared illegal and set aside, and prays that all the articles in question be returned to him.

Issue: Whether the search warrant issued by the court is illegal because it has been based upon the affidavit of agent Almeda in whose oath he declared that he had no personal knowledge of the facts which were to serve as a basis for the issuance of the warrant but that he had knowledge thereof through mere information secured from a person whom he considered reliable, and that it is illegal as it was not supported by other affidavits aside from that made by the applicant. Held: Section 1, paragraph 3, of Article III of the Constitution and Section 97 of General Orders 58 require that there be not only probable cause before the issuance of a search warrant but that the search warrant must be based upon an application supported by oath of the applicant and the witnesses he may produce. In its broadest sense, an oath includes any form of attestation by which a party signifies that he is bound in conscience to perform an act faithfully and truthfully; and it is sometimes defined as an outward pledge given by the person taking it that his attestation or promise is made under an immediate sense of his responsibility to God. The oath required must refer to the truth of the facts within the personal knowledge of the petitioner or his witnesses, because the purpose thereof is to convince the committing magistrate, not the individual making the affidavit and seeking the issuance of the warrant, of the existence of probable cause. The true test of sufficiency of an affidavit to warrant issuance of a search warrant is whether it has been drawn in such a manner that perjury could be charged thereon and affiant be held liable for damages caused. The affidavit, which served as the exclusive basis of the search warrant, is insufficient and fatally defective by reason of the manner in which the oath was made, and therefore, the search warrant and the subsequent seizure of the books, documents and other papers are illegal. Further, it is the practice in this jurisdiction to attach the affidavit of at least the applicant or complainant to the application. It is admitted that the judge who issued the search warrant in this case, relied exclusively upon the affidavit made by agent Almeda and that he did not require nor take the deposition of any other witness. Neither the Constitution nor General Orders 58 provides that it is of imperative necessity to take the depositions of the witnesses to be presented by the applicant or complainant in addition to the affidavit of the latter. The purpose of both in requiring the presentation of depositions is nothing more than to satisfy the committing magistrate of the existence of probable cause. Therefore, if the affidavit of the applicant or complainant is sufficient, the judge may dispense with that of other witnesses. Inasmuch as the affidavit of the agent was insufficient because his knowledge of the facts was not personal but merely hearsay, it is the duty of the judge to require the affidavit of one or more witnesses for the purpose of determining the existence of probable cause to warrant the issuance of the search warrant. When the affidavit of the applicant or complainant contains sufficient facts within his personal and direct knowledge, it is sufficient if the judge is satisfied that there exists probable cause; when the applicant’s knowledge of the facts is mere hearsay, the affidavit of one or more witnesses having a personal knowledge of the facts is necessary. Thus the warrant issued is likewise illegal because it was based only on the affidavit of the agent who had no personal knowledge of the facts.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. RUBEN MONTILLA y GATDULA, accused-appellant. Facts: It appears from the evidence of the prosecution that appellant was caught transporting 28 marijuana bricks contained in a traveling bag and a carton box, which marijuana bricks had a total weight of 28 kilos.

These two officers later asserted in court that they were aided by an informer in the arrest of appellant. That informer, according to Talingting and Clarin, had informed them the day before, or on June 19, 1994 at about 2:00 P.M., that a drug courier, whom said informer could recognize, would be arriving somewhere in Barangay Salitran, Dasmariñas from Baguio City with an undetermined amount of marijuana. It was the same informer who pinpointed to the arresting officers the appellant when the latter alighted from a passenger jeepney on the aforestated day, hour, and place.[4] Upon the other hand, appellant disavowed ownership of the prohibited drugs. He further averred that when he was interrogated at a house in Dasmariñas, Cavite, he was never informed of his constitutional rights and was in fact even robbed of the P500.00 which he had with him. Melita Adaci, the cousin, corroborated appellant's testimony about the job offer in the garment factory where she reportedly worked as a supervisor,[5]although, as the trial court observed, she never presented any document to prove her alleged employment. ISSUE: WON there was a valid arrest? Held: In the present appellate review, appellant disputes the trial court's finding that he was legally caught in flagrante transporting the prohibited drugs. This Court, after an objective and exhaustive review of the evidence on record, discerns no reversible error in the factual findings of the trial court. It finds unassailable the reliance of the lower court on the positive testimonies of the police officers to whom no ill motives can be attributed, and its rejection of appellant's fragile defense of denial which is evidently self-serving in nature. As already stated, appellant was charged with a violation of Section 4, the transgressive acts alleged therein and attributed to appellant being that he administered, delivered, and transported marijuana. The governing rule with respect to an offense which may be committed in any of the different modes provided by law is that an indictment would suffice if the offense is alleged to have been committed in one, two or more modes specified therein. This is so as allegations in the information of the various ways of committing the offense should be considered as a description of only one offense and the information cannot be dismissed on the ground of multifariousness.[7] In appellant's case, the prosecution adduced evidence clearly establishing that he transported marijuana from Baguio City to Cavite. By that act alone of transporting the illicit drugs, appellant had already run afoul of that particular section of the statute, hence, appellant's asseverations must fail. Section 2, Article III of the Constitution lays down the general rule that a search and seizure must be carried out through or on the strength of a judicial warrant, absent which such search and seizure becomes "unreasonable" within the meaning of said constitutional provision.[12] Evidence secured on the occasion of such an unreasonable search and seizure is tainted and should be excluded for being the proverbial fruit of a poisonous tree. In the language of the fundamental law, it shall be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding. This exclusionary rule is not, however, an absolute and rigid proscription. Thus, (1) customs searches;[13] (2) searches of moving vehicles,[14] (3) seizure of evidence in plain view;[15] (4) consented searches;[16] (5) searches incidental to a lawful arrest;[17] and (6) "stop and frisk" measures[18] have been invariably recognized as the traditional exceptions. In appellant's case, it should be noted that the information relayed by the civilian informant to the law enforcers was that there would be delivery of marijuana at Barangay Salitran by a courier coming from Baguio City in the "early morning" of June 20, 1994. Even assuming that the policemen were not pressed for time, this would be beside the point for, under these circumstances, the information relayed was too sketchy and not detailed enough for the obtention of the corresponding arrest or search warrant. While there is an indication that the informant knew the courier, the records do not reveal that he knew him by name. While it is not required that the authorities should know the exact name of the subject of the warrant applied for, there is the additional problem that the informant did not know to whom the drugs would be delivered and at which particular part of the barangay there would be such delivery. Neither did this asset know the precise time of the suspect's arrival, or his means of transportation, the container or contrivance wherein the drugs were concealed and whether the same were arriving together with, or were being brought by someone separately from, the courier. On such bare information, the police authorities could not have properly applied for a warrant, assuming that they could readily have access to a judge or a court that was still open by the time they could make preparations for applying therefor, and on which there is no evidence presented by the defense. In determining the opportunity for obtaining warrants, not only the intervening time is controlling but all the coincident and ambient circumstances should be considered, especially in rural areas. In fact, the police had to form a surveillance team and to lay down a dragnet at the possible entry points to Barangay Salitran at midnight of that day notwithstanding the tip regarding the "early morning" arrival of the courier. Their leader, SPO2 Cali, had to reconnoiter inside and around the barangay as backup, unsure as they were of the time when and the place in Barangay Salitran, where their suspect would show up, and how he would do so. On the other hand, that they nonetheless believed the informant is not surprising for, as both SPO1 Clarin and SPO1 Talingting recalled, he had proved to be a reliable source in past operations. Moreover, experience shows that although information gathered and passed on by these assets to law enforcers are vague and piecemeal, and not as neatly and completely packaged as one would expect from a professional spymaster, such tip-offs are sometimes successful as it proved to be in the apprehension of appellant. If the courts of justice are to be of understanding assistance to our law enforcement agencies, it is necessary to adopt a realistic appreciation of the physical and tactical problems of the latter, instead of critically viewing them from the placid and clinical environment of judicial chambers.

ISSUE: WON the informer should have presented in court? Held: The Court also disagrees with the contention of appellant that the civilian informer should have been produced in court considering that his testimony was "vital" and his presence in court was essential in order to give effect to or recognition of appellant's constitutional right to confront the witnesses arrayed by the State against him. These assertions are, however, much too strained. Far from compromising the primacy of appellant's right to confrontation, the non-presentation of the informer in this instance was justified and cannot be faulted as error. For one, the testimony of said informer would have been, at best, merely corroborative of the declarations of SPO1 Talingting and SPO1 Clarin before the trial court, which testimonies are not hearsay as both testified upon matters in which they had personally taken part. As such, the testimony of the informer could be dispensed with by the prosecution,[8] more so where what he would have corroborated are the narrations of law enforcers on whose performance of duties regularity is the prevailing legal presumption. Besides, informants are generally not presented in court because of the need to hide their identities and preserve their invaluable services to the police. [9] Moreover, it is up to the prosecution whom to present in court as its witnesses, and not for the defense to dictate that course.[10] Finally, appellant could very well have resorted to the coercive process of subpoena to compel that eyewitness to appear before the court below,[11] but which remedy was not availed of by him. ISSUE: WON there was valid search and seizure? HELD: Yes, A legitimate warrantless arrest, as above contemplated, necessarily cloaks the arresting police officer with authority to validly search and seize from the offender (1) dangerous weapons, and (2) those that may be used as proof of the commission of an offense.[19] On the other hand, the apprehending officer must have been spurred by probable cause in effecting an arrest which could be classified as one in cadence with the instances of permissible arrests set out in Section 5(a).[20] These instances have been applied to arrests carried out on persons caught in flagrante delicto. The conventional view is that probable cause, while largely a relative term the determination of which must be resolved according to the facts of each case, is understood as having reference to such facts and circumstances which could lead a reasonable, discreet, and prudent man to believe and conclude as to the commission of an offense, and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched.

In the case at bar, as soon as appellant had alighted from the passenger jeepney the informer at once indicated to the officers that their suspect was at hand by pointing to him from the waiting shed. SPO1 Clarin recounted that the informer told them that the marijuana was likely hidden inside the traveling bag and carton box which appellant was carrying at the time. The officers thus realized that he was their man even if he was simply carrying a seemingly innocent looking pair of luggage for personal effects. Accordingly, they approached appellant, introduced themselves as policemen, and requested him to open and show them the contents of the traveling bag, which appellant voluntarily and readily did. Upon cursory inspection by SPO1 Clarin, the bag yielded the prohibited drugs, so, without bothering to further search the box, they brought appellant and his luggage to their headquarters for questioning. When an individual voluntarily submits to a search or consents to have the same conducted upon his person or premises, he is precluded from later complaining thereof. After all, the right to be secure from unreasonable search may, like other rights, be waived either expressly or impliedly.[27] Thus, while it has been held that the silence of the accused during a warrantless search should not be taken to mean consent to the search but as a demonstration of that person's regard for the supremacy of the law, [28] the case of herein appellant is evidently different for, here, he spontaneously performed affirmative acts of volition by himself opening the bag without being forced or intimidated to do so, which acts should properly be construed as a clear waiver of his right.[29] WHEREFORE, the judgment of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 90, of Dasmariñas, Cavite in Criminal Case No. 3401-94 is hereby MODIFIED in the sense that accused-appellant Ruben Montilla y Gatdula shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. In all other respects, the judgment of the trial court is hereby AFFIRMED, with costs against accused-appellant.

Constitutional Law II - Book 2005 - Padilla vs. Court of Appeals [GR 121917, 12 March 1997] Padilla vs. Court of Appeals [GR 121917, 12 March 1997] Third Division, Francisco (J): 4 concur Facts: At about 8:00 p.m. of 26 October 1992, Enrique Manarang and his compadre Danny Perez were inside the Manukan sa Highway Restaurant in Sto. Kristo, Angeles City where they took shelter from the heavy downpour that had interrupted their ride on motorcycles along Mac Arthur Highway. While inside the restaurant, Manarang noticed a vehicle, a Mitsubishi Pajero, running fast down the highway prompting him to remark that the vehicle might get into an accident considering the inclement weather. Immediately after the vehicle had passed the restaurant, Manarang and Perez heard a screeching sound produced by the sudden and hard braking of a vehicle running very fast, followed by a sickening sound of the vehicle hitting something. Manarang and Cruz went out to investigate and

immediately saw the vehicle occupying the edge or shoulder of the highway giving it a slight tilt to its side. Manarang, being a member of both the Spectrum, a civic group and the Barangay Disaster Coordinating Council, decided to report the incident to the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Angeles City. He took out his radio and called the Viper, the radio controller of the PNP of Angeles City. By the time Manarang completed the call, the vehicle had started to leave the place of the accident taking the general direction to the north. Manarang went to the location of the accident and found out that the vehicle had hit somebody. Manarang asked Cruz to look after the victim while he went back to the restaurant, rode on his motorcycle and chased the vehicle. During the chase he was able to make out the plate number of the vehicle as PMA 777. He called the Viper through the radio once again reporting that a vehicle heading north with plate number PMA 777 was involved in a hit and run accident. SPO2 Borja and SPO2 Miranda of Mobile 3 were able to intercept the vehicle by cutting into the latter’s path forcing it to stop. SPO2 Miranda went to the vehicle with plate number PMA 777 and instructed its driver to alight. The driver rolled down the window and put his head out while raising both his hands. They recognized the driver as Robin C. Padilla. SPO2 Miranda told Padilla to alight to which Padilla complied. Padilla was wearing a short leather jacket such that when he alighted with both his hands raised, a gun tucked on the left side of his waist was revealed, its butt protruding. SPO2 Borja made the move to confiscate the gun but Padilla held the former’s hand alleging that the gun was covered by legal papers. SPO2 Borja disarmed Padilla and told the latter about the hit and run incident. Padilla, however, arrogantly denied his misdeed and, instead, played with the crowd by holding their hands with one hand and pointing to SPO2 Borja with his right hand saying “iyan, kinuha ang baril ko.” Because Padilla’s jacket was short, his gesture exposed a long magazine of an armalite rifle tucked in his back right pocket. SPO Mercado saw this and so when Padilla turned around as he was talking and proceeding to his vehicle, Mercado confiscated the magazine from Padilla. Suspecting that Padilla could also be carrying a rifle inside the vehicle since he had a magazine, SPO2 Mercado prevented Padilla from going back to his vehicle by opening himself the door of Padilla’s vehicle. He saw a baby armalite rifle lying horizontally at the front by the driver’s seat. It had a long magazine filled with live bullets in a semi-automatic mode. He asked Padilla for the papers covering the rifle and Padilla answered angrily that they were at his home. SPO Mercado modified the arrest of Padilla by including as its ground illegal possession of firearms. SPO Mercado then read to appellant his constitutional rights. The police officers brought Padilla to the Traffic Division at Jake Gonzales Boulevard where Padilla voluntarily surrendered a third firearm, a pietro berreta pistol with a single round in its chamber and a magazine loaded with 7 other live bullets. Padilla also voluntarily surrendered a black bag containing two additional long magazines and one short magazine. Padilla was correspondingly charged on 3 December 1992, before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Angeles City with illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions ([1] One .357 Caliber revolver, Smith and Wesson, SN-32919 with 6 live ammunitions; [2] one M-16 Baby Armalite rifle, SN-RP 131120 with 4 long and 1 short magazine with ammunitions; [3] one .380 Pietro Beretta, SN-A 35723 Y with clip and 8 ammunitions; and [4] Six additional live double action ammunitions of .38 caliber revolver.” ) under PD 1866. The lower court then ordered the arrest of Padilla, but granted his application for bail. During the arraignment on 20 January 1993, a plea of not guilty was entered for Padilla after he refused, upon advice of counsel, to make any plea. Padilla waived in writing his right to be present in any and all stages of the case. After trial, Angeles City RTC Judge David Rosete rendered judgment dated 25 April 1994 convicting Padilla of the crime charged and sentenced him to an “indeterminate penalty from 17 years, 4 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal as minimum, to 21 years of reclusion perpetua, as maximum”. Padilla filed his notice of appeal on 28 April 1994. Pending the appeal in the Court of Appeals, the Solicitor-General, convinced that the conviction shows strong evidence of guilt, filed on 2 December 1994 a motion to cancel Padilla’s bail bond. The resolution of this motion was incorporated in the appellate court’s decision sustaining Padilla’s conviction. Padilla received a copy of this decision on 26 July 1995. On 9 August 1995 he filed a “motion for reconsideration (and to recall the warrant of arrest)” but the same was denied by the appellate court in its 20 September 1995 Resolution. On 28 September 1995, Padilla filed the petition for review on certiorari with application for bail followed by two “supplemental petitions” filed by different counsels, a “second supplemental petition” and an urgent motion for the separate resolution of his application for bail. Issue: Whether the firearms and ammunition confiscated during a warrantless search and seizure, especially the baby armalite, are admissible as evidence against Robin Padilla. Held: The 5 well-settled instances when a warrantless search and seizure of property is valid, are as follows: (1) warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest recognized under Section 12, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court and by prevailing jurisprudence; (2) Seizure of evidence in “plain view”, the elements of which are: (a) a prior valid intrusion based on the valid warrantless arrest in which the police are legally present in the pursuit of their official duties; (b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police who had the right to be where they are; (c) the evidence must be immediately apparent, and (d) “plain view” justified mere seizure of evidence without further search; (3) Search of a moving vehicle. 49 Highly regulated by the government, the vehicle’s inherent mobility reduces expectation of privacy especially when its transit in public thoroughfares furnishes a highly reasonable suspicion amounting to probable cause that the occupant committed a criminal activity; (4) consented warrantless search; and (5) customs search. In conformity with the trial court’s observation, it indeed appears that the authorities stumbled upon Padilla’s firearms and ammunitions without even undertaking any active search which, as it is commonly understood, is a prying into hidden places for that which is concealed. The seizure of the Smith & Wesson revolver and an M-16 rifle magazine was justified for they came within “plain view” of the policemen who inadvertently discovered the revolver and magazine tucked in Padilla’s waist and back pocket respectively, when he raised his hands after alighting from his Pajero. The same justification applies to the confiscation of the M-16 armalite rifle which was immediately apparent to the policemen as they took a casual glance at the Pajero and saw said rifle lying horizontally near the driver’s seat. Thus it has been held that “When in pursuing an illegal action or in the commission of a criminal offense, the police officers should happen to discover a criminal offense being committed by any person, they are not precluded from performing their duties as police officers for the

apprehension of the guilty person and the taking of the corpus delicti. Objects whose possession are prohibited by law inadvertently found in plain view are subject to seizure even without a warrant.” With respect to the Berreta pistol and a black bag containing assorted magazines, Padilla voluntarily surrendered them to the police. This latter gesture of Padilla indicated a waiver of his right against the alleged search and seizure, and that his failure to quash the information estopped him from assailing any purported defect. Even assuming that the firearms and ammunitions were products of an active search done by the authorities on the person and vehicle of Padilla, their seizure without a search warrant nonetheless can still be justified under a search incidental to a lawful arrest (first instance). Once the lawful arrest was effected, the police may undertake a protective search of the passenger compartment and containers in the vehicle which are within Padilla’s grabbing distance regardless of the nature of the offense. This satisfied the two-tiered test of an incidental search: (i) the item to be searched (vehicle) was within the arrestee’s custody or area of immediate control and (ii) the search was contemporaneous with the arrest. The products of that search are admissible evidence not excluded by the exclusionary rule. Another justification is a search of a moving vehicle (third instance). In connection therewith, a warrantless search is constitutionally permissible when, as in this case, the officers conducting the search have reasonable or probable cause to believe, before the search, that either the motorist is a law-offender (like Padilla with respect to the hit and run) or the contents or cargo of the vehicle are or have been instruments or the subject matter or the proceeds of some criminal offense.

People v Acol 232 SCRA 406 Facts: After declaring a hold up and robbing the jeepney passengers of their belongings, Acol et. al. was shortly apprehended when one of them was identified by their erstwhile victims wearing the latter’s jacket, who was part of the group that reported the incident to the authorities shortly after the incident. The arrested was perfected by CAPCOM agents. Incident to their arrest, the agents found the accused in possession of illegal firearms which were then confiscated in favor of the Government. Issue: 1) 2) Held: 1) The Supreme Court Held that: With respect to the so-called warrantless arrest of accused--appellant, we are of the view that the search falls within the purview of Section 5(b) of Rule 113 which serves as an exception to the requisite warrant prior to arrest: When an offense has in fact been committed, and the has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; inasmuch as the police team was formed and dispatched to look for the persons responsible for the crime on account of the information related by Percival Tan and Rene Araneta that they had just been robbed. And since accused-appellant's arrest was lawful, it follows that the search made incidental thereto was valid. Also, items subject to seizure are: 1) object of the offense, 2) Items gained or profited from the commission of the offense, and 3) items used for the commission of the offense. WON: Was the search conducted on the person of the accused et al valid as the officers earlier claimed it was done without a search warrant? WON: Were the items seized from the person of the accused et al inadmissible as evidence. ?

2) Moreover, the unlicensed firearms were found when the police team apprehended the accused for the robbery and not for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. The principle imparted by Justice Padilla in Cruz was based on the ruling of this Court in Magoncia vs. Palacio that:

. . . When, in pursuing an illegal action or in the commission of a criminal offense, the offending police officers should happen to discover a criminal offense being committed by any person, they are not precluded from performing their duties as police officers for the apprehension of the guilty person and the taking of the corpus delicti. People v Bongcarawan Facts: A certain Lorena Canoy reported missing jewelry on a ship from Manila bound to Iligan city. The accused, bongcarawan was a fellow passenger who was also situated in the same suit of the vessel. Lorena Canoy asked the assistance of vessel security officers to apprehend the accused as he was suspected of stealing her jewelry. The accused was then told by the vessel personnel to present his luggage for inspection. Returning to his room, the accused took a samsonite bag and left his other bag containing a sunglass and other items for fear that it might be taken by the vessel personnel. The vessel personnel took possession of the samsonite bag that was then brought to their presence for inspection. Because the bag had a combination lock, the personnel forcibly opened the suitcase. In it they found 8 plastic packs which looked like shabu. The personnel then called the state authorities to inform them of the offense. The accused was then turned over to their custody. Later, a lab test at the NBI confirmed the suspicion that the white substance was indeed shabu. The trial court convicted the accused of illegal possession of dangerous drugs. Hence this appeal. Issue: 1) Was the evidence confiscated inadmissible as evidence to be used against the appelant? 2) Is the evidence obtained inadmissible as the ownership of the bag is not being claimed by the appellant? Held: 1) The right against unlawful searches in seizures will only apply against the agents of the state concerned with law enforcement. In the case before us, the baggage of the accused-appellant was searched by the vessel security personnel. It was only after they found shabu inside the suitcase that they called the Philippine Coast Guard for assistance. The search and seizure of the suitcase and the contraband items was therefore carried out without government intervention, and hence, the constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure does not apply. The vessel security officer in the case at bar is a private employee and does not discharge any governmental function. In contrast, police officers are agents of the state tasked with the sovereign function of enforcement of the law. Historically and until now, it is against them and other agents of the state that the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures may be invoked.


In a prosecution for illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the following facts must be proven beyond reasonable doubt, viz: (1) that the accused is in possession of the object identified as a prohibited or a regulated drug; (2) that such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) that the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug. The first two elements were sufficiently proven in this case, and were in fact undisputed. We are left with the third. It has been ruled, however, that possession of dangerous drugs constitutes prima facie evidence of knowledge or animus possidendi sufficient to convict an accused in the absence of a satisfactory explanation of such possession.[25 Hence, the burden of evidence is shifted to the accused to explain the absence of knowledge or animus possidendi.[26

Moreover, evidence must be credible in itself to deserve credence and weight in law. In this case, the accused-appellant admits that when he was asked to get his baggage, he knew it would be inspected. The things in possession of a person are presumed by law to be owned by him. To overcome this presumption, it is necessary to present clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.

PEOPLE v. TONOG 205 SCRA 724 FACTS: Charged along with three (3) others, Ignacio Tonog, Jr., alias "Abdul" was convicted of Murder and sentenced to reclusion perpetua in a Decision rendered by the Regional Trial Court of Dumaguete City. He is now before us, seeking a reversal. The cases against his co-accused, Allan Solamillo and two (2) other unidentified individuals, were archived as the latter three have eluded arrest and have yet to be apprehended. virOn 25 April 1988, at around 6:00 o'clock in the morning, the Dumaguete City Police Station received a report that there was a "lifeless person found lying at the crossing of Cantil-e, Dumaguete City". The deceased, who had stab wounds all over his body, was later identified as Efren Flores, son of the Deputy Station Commander of the Dumaguete City Police Force. vThat same morning, after receiving the report, Patrolman Walter Leguarda went to the place where the body was found and conducted an investigation. He learned from his investigation that a "motorcab" with side car number 0164 had stopped near the place where the deceased was found. His investigation likewise revealed that "the person responsible for the death of Efren Flores was a certain Abdul Tonog of Bacong, Negros Oriental" Pat. Leguarda based his conclusion principally from the information given to him by one Liberato Solamillo. He was also informed by the girlfriend of Abdul Tonog's co-accused, Allan Solamillo, that prior to the stabbing incident, "there were grudges between Efren Flores and Abdul Tonog". In the afternoon of that same day, 25 April 1988, Pat. Leguarda, together with P/Sgt, Orlando Patricio and other police operatives, without a warrant , "proceeded to Bacong, Negros Oriental, to look for and effect the apprehension of Abdul Tonog," who, upon being "invited for questioning," voluntarily went with the law enforcers to the police station, unaccompanied by counsel.virtua P/Sgt. Patricio noticed blood stains on the pants of the accused-appellant who allegedly answered that it was a blood stain from a pig. He was then requested to take off his pants for examination at the PC/INP Crime Laboratory in Cebu. Also, He then confessed to the officer-in-charge of the police station, which confession was not recorded nor reduced to writing . He admitted that he was one of the assailants of Efren Flores and that he used his Batangas knife.virtualawrThe. forensic chemist thereat affirmed that the blood stains found on the pants of the Accusedappellant and those on the stainless knife(w/c was recovered with the pants) were of type "O" , the same as the victim's blood type. After trial, the Court a quo rejected the alleged Accused-appelant's extra-judicial confession, as the latter was not represented by counsel and because it had not been reduced to writing. Nonetheless, on the basis of circumstantial evidence, it rendered a judgment of conviction. Accused-appellant, still professing innocence, now faults the Trial Court for admitting in evidence his "acid-washed maong" pants and the stainless knife; in declaring that sufficient circumstantial evidence was adduced to warrant his conviction; in concluding that the presumption of innocence in his favor has been overcome; in holding that the killing of the victim was attended by the qualifying circumstance of cruelty; and in appreciating the aggravating circumstance of the use of a motor vehicle in the commission of the crime. ISSUE: whether or not there was sufficient circumstantial evidence to warrant Accused-appellant's conviction, enough to overcome the presumption of innocence in his favor. HELD: The "acid-washed maong" pants were admissible in evidence, They were taken from Accused-appellant as an incident of his arrest. It may be that the police officers were not armed with a warrant when they apprehended Accused-Appellant. The warrantless arrest, however, was justified under Section 5(b), Rule 133 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure providing that a peace officer may, without a warrant, arrest a person "when an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it." In this case, Pat. Leguarda, in effecting the arrest of Accused-appellant, had knowledge of facts gathered by him personally in the course of his investigation indicating that Accused-appellant was one of the perpetrators.virtualawlibrary virtual law library

The "maong" pants having been taken from Accused-appellant as an incident to a lawful arrest, no infirmity may be attributed to their seizure without a warrant. Section 12 of Rule 126 of the Rules of Court explicitly provides that "A person charges with an offense may be searched for dangerous weapons or any thing which may be used as proof of the commission of the offense."virtual law library It is undisputed that there was no eyewitness to the crime, But it is also well-settled that guilt may be established through circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence is not always necessary to prove the guilt of the accused (People v. Aldeguer, No. 47991, April 3, 1990, 184 SCRA 1 at 10, citing People v. Roa, No. 78052, November 8, 1988, 163 SCRA 783). For circumstantial evidence to succeed , the following requisites must be present, namely: (1) there must be more than one circumstance; (2) the inferences must be based on proven facts; and (3) the combination of all the circumstances produces a conviction beyond reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused (Sec. 5, Rule 133, Rules of Court; People v. Alcantara, No. L-74737, 29 July 1988, 163 SCRA 783 at 786).virtualawlibrary virtual law library Furthermore, in determining the sufficiency of circumstantial evidence to support a conviction, each case is to be determined on its own peculiar set-up and all the facts and circumstances are to be considered as a whole and, when so considered, may be sufficient to support a conviction, although one or more of the facts taken separately would not be sufficient for this purpose (People v. Jora, Nos. L-61356-57, September 30, 1986, citing 23 CJS p. 555).virtualawlibrary virtual law library The foregoing requisites have been met. The chain of events circumstantially point to Accused-appellant's guilt. Note should also be taken of the proven fact that investigation by Pat. Leguarda revealed that the "motorcab" with side car number 0164, the vehicle that Allan drove with the victim as his passenger, was seen near the spot where the victim's body was discovered. This lead enabled Pat. Leguarda to zero in on two suspects, Accused-appellant and Allan, which eventually led to the apprehension of the former the very same day.virtualawlibrary virtual law library Most telling of all is the proven fact that laboratory examination at the PC/INP Crime Laboratory of the blood stains on Accused-appellant's "acid-washed maong pants" revealed that they were positive for human blood, type "O", the same blood type as that of the victim. Again of significance is another proven fact that the stainless knife recovered from the crime scene, upon similar laboratory examination, exhibited blood stains of the same blood-type "O". We agree with the defense, however, that the aggravating circumstance of cruelty should not have been appreciated by the Trial Court. For this aggravating circumstance to be appreciated, it is essential "that the wrong done in the commission of the crime be deliberately augmented by causing other wrong not necessary for its commission" (Art. 14 (21), Revised Penal Code). There having been no eyewitness to the commission of the crime, it can not justifiably be concluded that the wrong done had been deliberately augmented. The mere fact that wounds in excess of that necessary to cause death were inflicted upon the body of the victim does not necessarily imply that such wounds were inflicted with cruelty and with the intention of deliberately and inhumanly increasing the sufferings of the victim (People v. Siblag, 37 Phil. 703 [1918]). It is necessary to show that the accused deliberately and inhumanly increased the victim's sufferings (People v. Luna, No. L-28812, July 31, 1974, 58 SCRA 198; People v. Manzano, Nos. L-33643-44, July 31, 1974, 58 SCRA 250). The number of wounds is not the criterion for the appreciation of cruelty as an aggravating circumstance (Ibid.).virtualawlibrary virtual law library The aggravating circumstance of use of a motor vehicle should neither be appreciated, the same not having been indubitably proven under the environmental facts of the case.virtualawlibrary virtual law library What may be appreciated, however, is the aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength, also charged in the Information. There is ample evidence to show that two individuals, one of them Accused-appellant, armed with a knife, attacked a single person, the victim. It is obvious that the perpetrators of this crime took advantage of their combined strength in order to consummate the offense. By reason of their superiority, not only in numbers but also in weaponry, they were able to inflict twenty-seven (27) stab wounds, fourteen (14) of which were fatal.virtualawlibrary virtual law l WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED, except with respect to the indemnity, which is hereby increased to 50,000.00. Costs against accused-appellant, Ignacio Tonog, Jr.virt


THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. SANTIAGO SY JUCO, defendant. TEOPISTO B. REMO, petitioner-appellant.

Facts: • A warrant of arrest was issued by the Court of First Instance of Manila, through Judge Mariano A. Albert, upon petition of the agent and representatives of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, named Narciso Mendiola, who alleged that, according to information given him by a person whom he considered reliable, certain fraudulent bookletters and papers or records were being kept in the building marked No. 482 on Juan Luna Street, Binondo, Manila, occupied by Santiago Sy Juco. In said warrant, the peace officers to whom it was directed for execution were required to seize the abovestated articles for the purpose of delivering them to the court, for the proper action to be taken in due time. In the process, the authorities seized, among others, an art metal filing cabinet claimed by Atty. Remo to be his and contained some letters, documents and papers belonging to his clients. Also, books belonging to Salakam Lumber Co., Inc., were seized. Atty. Remo filed a petition in the Court of First Instance of Manila, praying that the Collector of Internal Revenue and his agents be prohibited from opening said art metal filing cabinet and that the sheriff of the City of Manila likewise be ordered to take charge of said property in the meantime, on the ground that the warrant by virtue of which the search was made is null and void, being illegal and against the Constitution. A similar petition was later filed in the same case by the Salakan Lumber Co., Inc., the same agents of the Bureau of Internal Revenue having also seized some books belonging to it by virtue of the abovementioned search warrant. After due hearing, the Court of First Instance through Judge Delfin Jaranilla, decided to overrule both petitions, declaring that the art metal filing cabinet and the books and papers claimed by the Salakan Lumber Co., Inc., would be returned to Attorney Teopisto B. Remo and to the company, respectively, as soon as it be proven, by means of an examination thereof to be made in the presence of the interested parties, that they contain nothing showing that they have been used to commit fraud against the Government. Attorney Teopisto B. Remo appealed from the decision of the court and he now contends that it committed the nine errors and its unconstitutional

• •

Issue: 1. 2. 3. Is the search warrant in question valid or not, taking into consideration the provisions of the law and of the Constitution relative thereto? Could the search warrant in question affect Attorney Teopisto B. Remo, not being the person against whom it was directed? Had the court authority to order the opening of the cabinet in question for the purpose of determining, by an examination of the books, documents and records contained therein, whether or not same were used to commit fraud against the Government?



No, ruling is based on the judgment rendered in the case of Alvarez v. CFI. . According to our laws in force on the date in question, which do not differ substantially from the provisions of the Constitution of the Commonwealth in matters regarding search, in order that a search warrant may be valid, the following requisites, among others, must be present: That the application upon which it is issued be supported by oath; That the search warrant particularly describes not only place to be searched but also the person or thing to be seized and that there be probable cause (sec. 97, General Orders, No. 58: sec. 3, Jones Law; Article III, sec. 1, paragraph 3, Constitution of the Commonwealth). By reading the affidavit which gave rise to the issuance of the search warrant in question, it will be seen that the latter does not fulfill the necessary conditions in support of its validity. In the first place, it is not stated in said affidavit that the books, documents or records referred to therein are being used or are intended to be used in the commission of fraud against the Government and, notwithstanding the lack of such allegation, the warrant avers that they are actually being used for such purpose. In the second place, it assumes that the entire building marked No. 482 on Juan Luna Street is occupied by Santiago Sy Juco against whom the warrant was exclusively issued, when the only ground upon which such assumption is based is Narciso Mendiola's statement which is mere hearsay and when in fact part thereof was occupied by the appellant. In the third place, it was not asked that the things belonging to the appellant and to others also be searched. In otherwords, the warrant in question has gone beyond what had been applied for by Narciso Mendiola and the agent who executed it performed acts not authorized by the warrant, and it is for this and the above-stated reason why it is unreasonable, it being evidence that the purpose thereof was solely to fish for evidence or search for it by exploration, in case some could be found. It is of common knowledge that search warrants have not been designed for such purpose (Gouled vs. U. S., 255 U. S., 298, S. C. R., 65 Law. ed., 647; Uy Kheytin vs. Villareal, 42 Phil., 886) much less in a case as the one under consideration where it has not even been alleged in the affidavit of Narciso Mendiola what crime had been committed by Santiago Sy Juco or what crime he was about commit. On this point said affidavit merely contained the following allegation: "It has been reported to us by a person whom I considered reliable that in said premises are fraudulent books, correspondence and records." Therefore, the first question raised should be decided in the negative.


After the considerations just made, the third question cannot be resolved except in the negative. The search warrant in question could not and should not in any way affect the appellant attorney on the ground that he is not the person against whom it had been sought. It is Santiago Sy Juco alone against whom the search warrant could be used, because it had been obtained precisely against him; so much so that Narciso Mendiola, who applied for it, mentioned him expressly in his affidavit and again did so in his report to his superior, that is, the Collector of Internal Revenue (Exhibit C); and at the trial of this case, it was insisted that there was necessity of making the search in the premises occupied by Santiago Sy Juco because an investigation was then pending against him, for having defrauded the Government in its public revenue. The doctrine laid down in the case of People vs. Rubio (57 Phil., 384), invoked against the appellant, is not applicable to the case at bar because, unlike in the abovecited case, neither books nor record indicating fraud were found in his possession, and it is not he against whom the warrant was issued.




It is clear that the court could not and cannot order the opening of the art metal filing cabinet in question because, it having been proven that it belongs to the appellant attorney and that in it he keeps the records and documents of his clients, to do so would be in violation of his right as such attorney, since it would be tantamount to compelling him to disclose or divulge facts or things belonging to his clients, which should be kept secret, unless she is authorized by them to make such disclosure, it being a duty imposed by law upon an attorney to strictly preserve the secrets or communications made to him. Such an act would constitute a qualified violation of section 383, No. 4, and of section 31 of Act No. 190, which read as follows: An attorney can not, without the consent of his client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to him, or his advice given thereon in the course of professional employment; nor can an attorney's secretary stenographer, or clerk be examined, without the consent of client and his employer, concerning any fact, the knowledge of which has been acquired in such capacity. (Sec. 383, No. 4, Act No. 190.) A lawyer must strictly maintain inviolate the confidence and preserve the secrets of his client. He shall not be permitted in any court without the consent of his client, given in open court, to testify to any facts imparted to him by his client in professional consultation, or for the purpose of obtaining advice upon legal matters. (Sec. 31, Act No. 190.)

For all the foregoing reasons, and finding that the errors assigned by the appellant are very well founded, the appealed judgment is reversed, and it is ordered that the art metal filing cabinet, together with the key thereof seized by the internal revenue agent by virtue of the judicial warrant in question, which is hereby declared null and

void, be immediately returned unopened to the appellant; and that a copy of this decision be sent to the SolicitorGeneral for him to take action, if he deems it justified, upon careful investigation of the facts, against the internal revenue agent or agents who obtained and executed the warrant in question, in accordance with the provisions of article 129 of the Revised Penal Code, without special pronouncement as to costs. So ordered.

People vs. Cubcubin [GR 136267, 10 July 2001] Facts: At about 3:30 a.m. of 26 August 1997, Sgt. Rogel, desk officer of the Cavite City police station, received a telephone call that a person had been shot near the cemetery along Julian Felipe Boulevard in San Antonio, Cavite City. For this reason, a police team, composed of SPO1 Malinao, Jr., PO3 Rosal, PO3 Estoy, Jr., PO3 Manicio, and SPO3 Manalo, responded to the call and found Henry P. Piamonte slumped dead on his tricycle which was then parked on the road. Police photographer Fred Agana took pictures of the crime scene showing the victim slumped on the handle of the tricycle. PO3 Rosal testified that a tricycle driver, who refused to divulge his name, told him that Fidel Abrenica Cubcubin Jr. and the victim were last seen together coming out of the Sting Cafe, located in San Antonio near the gate of Sangley Point, Cavite City, about a kilometer and a half away from the crime scene. Forthwith, PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr. went to the cafe and talked to Danet Garcellano, a food server/waitress in Sting Cafe. Garcellano described Cubcubin as a lean, dark-complexioned, and mustachioed man who had on a white t-shirt and brown short pants. Armando Plata, another tricycle driver, told PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr. that Garcellano’s description fitted a person known as alias “Jun Dulce.” Armando Plata, who knew where Cubcubin lived, led PO3 Rosal, SPO1 Malinao, Jr., and Prosecutor Lu to Cubucubin’s house in Garcia Extension, Cavite City. The policemen knocked on the door for about 3 minutes before it was opened by a man who answered the description given by Danet Garcellano and who turned out to be Cubcubin. The police operatives identified themselves and informed him that he was being sought in connection with the shooting near the cemetery. Cubcubin denied involvement in the incident. PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr. then asked permission to enter and look around the house. SPO1 Malinao, Jr. said that upon entering the house, he noticed a white t-shirt, bearing the brand name “Hanes” and the name “Dhenvher” written in the inner portion of the shirt’s hemline, placed over a divider near the kitchen. Upon close examination, he said that he found it to be “bloodied.” When he picked up the t-shirt, two spent .38 caliber shells fell from it. PO3 Rosal stayed with Cubcubin while he conducted a search. They then took the t-shirt and the two bullet shells. SPO1 Malinao, Jr. then asked Cubcubin to go with them to Sting Cafe for purposes of identification. There, Cubcubin was positively identified by Danet Garcellano as the victim’s companion. The police investigators asked Cubcubin where the fatal gun was. SPO1 Malinao, Jr. said Cubcubin refused to tell him where he hid the gun so he sought the latter’s permission to go back to his house to conduct a further search. Thereupon, SPO1 Malinao, Jr., accompanied by Prosecutor Lu, PO3 Estoy, Jr., PO3 Manicio, SPO3 Manalo, and PO3 Rosal, proceeded thereto. Inside the house, they saw Cubcubin’s 11-year old son Jhumar. PO3 Estoy, Jr. found on top of a plastic water container (drum) outside the bathroom a homemade Smith and Wesson caliber .38 revolver (six shooter), without a serial number. He found the gun loaded with five live bullets. PO3 Estoy, Jr. said that he inscribed his initials “RDE” (for Raymundo D. Estoy) on the cylinder of the gun with the use of a sharp object. While PO3 Estoy, Jr. was conducting the search, SPO1 Malinao, Jr. and PO3 Rosal stayed with Cubcubin in the sala. The .38 caliber gun, the white “Hanes” t-shirt, and the two spent .38 caliber shells were all photographed. Cubcubin was then taken to the police station, where he was photographed along with the things seized from him. Cubcubin was charged for the crime of murder. On 5 October 1998, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 88, Cavite City, found Cubcubin guilty of murder and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of death. Hence, the automatic review. Issue: Whether there was “probable cause” for PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr., the arresting officers, to believe that Cubcubin committed the crime, to allow them to conduct the latter’s warrantless arrest. Held: Rule 113, §5 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended, provides that “A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.” Under §5(b), two conditions must concur for a warrantless arrest to be valid: first, the offender has just committed an offense and, second, the arresting peace officer or private person has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it. It has been held that “personal knowledge of facts’ in arrests without a warrant must be based upon probable cause, which means an actual belief or reasonable grounds of suspicion.” Herein, the arrest of Cubcubin was effected shortly after the victim was killed. There was no “probable cause, however, for PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr., the arresting officers, to believe that Cubcubin committed the crime. The two did not have “personal knowledge of facts” indicating that Cubcubin had committed the crime. Their knowledge of the circumstances from which they allegedly inferred that Cubcubin was probably guilty was based entirely on what they had been told by others, to wit: by someone who called the PNP station in San Antonio, Cavite City at about 3:30 a.m. of 26 August 1997 and reported that a man had been killed along Julian Felipe Boulevard of the said city; by an alleged witness who saw Cubcubin and the victim coming out of the Sting Cafe; by Danet Garcellano, waitress at the Sting Cafe, who said that the man

last seen with the victim was lean, mustachioed, dark-complexioned and was wearing a white t-shirt and a pair of brown short pants; by a tricycle driver named Armando Plata who told them that the physical description given by Garcellano fitted Cubcubin, alias “Jun Dulce” and who said he knew where Cubcubin lived and accompanied them to Cubcubin’s house. Thus, PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr. merely relied on information given to them by others. Be that as it may, Cubcubin cannot now question the validity of his arrest without a warrant. The records show that he pleaded not guilty to the charge when arraigned on 11 November 1997. Cubcubin did not object to the arraignment, and thus has waived the right to object to the legality of his arrest. On the other hand, the search of Cubcubin’s house was illegal and, consequently, the things obtained as a result of the illegal search, i.e., the white “Hanes” t-shirt, two spent shells, and the .38 caliber gun, are inadmissible in evidence against him. It cannot be said that the .38 caliber gun was discovered through inadvertence. After bringing Cubcubin to the Sting Cafe where he was positively identified by a waitress named Danet Garcellano as the victim’s companion, the arresting officers allegedly asked Cubcubin where he hid the gun used in killing the victim. According to SPO1 Malinao, Jr., when Cubcubin refused to answer, he sought Cubcubin’s permission to go back to his house and there found the .38 caliber revolver on top of a plastic water container outside the bathroom. Thus, the gun was purposely sought by the police officers and they did not merely stumble upon it. Nor were the police officers justified in seizing the white “Hanes” t-shirt placed on top of the divider “in plain view” as such is not contraband nor is it incriminating in nature which would lead SPO1 Malinao, Jr. to conclude that it would constitute evidence of a crime. Contrary to what SPO1 Malinao, Jr. said, the t-shirt was not “bloodied” which could have directed his attention to take a closer look at it. From the photograph of the t-shirt, it is not visible that there were bloodstains. The actual t-shirt merely had some small specks of blood at its lower portion. Furthermore, there is no evidence to link Cubcubin directly to the crime. In the case at bar, there are serious doubts as to whether the crime was committed by accused-appellant in view of the following: (1) As already stated, Danet Garcellano, a waitress at the Sting Cafe, did not actually see accusedappellant and the victim leaving the cafe together at about 3:30 a.m. of August 26, 1997; (2) PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr. testified that when they arrived at the scene of the crime, they were informed by a tricycle driver that the victim and the accused-appellant had earlier left the Sting Cafe together, but the tricycle driver was not presented to confirm this fact; (3) SPO1 Malinao, Jr. testified that the white “Hanes” t-shirt was “bloodied,” but the evidence shows that it had some bloodstains only on its lower portion (Exh. H), while the photograph of the t-shirt (Exhs. B-2, B-2-A, B-2-B), supposedly taken at the time of the search, shows that it had no bloodstains and this discrepancy was not explained by SPO1 Malinao, Jr.; (4) The fact that the t-shirt was tested positive for type “O” blood does not necessarily mean that the bloodstains came from the victim who also had a type “O” blood; (5) Accused-appellant was never given a paraffin test to determine if he was positive for gunpowder nitrates; (8) The . 38 caliber gun allegedly found in his house was not examined for the possible presence of accused-appellant’s fingerprints; and (9) The allegation that the gun was placed on top of a water container in accused-appellant’s house is unbelievable as it is improbable that accused-appellant could be so careless as to leave the fatal weapon there when he could have hidden it or thrown it away. ACCUSED IS AQUITTED FOR REASONABLE DOUBT. People vs. Gerente [GR 95847-48, 10 March 1993] First Division, Grino-Aquino (J): 3 concur Facts: At about 7:00 a.m. of 30 April 1990, Gabriel Gerente, together with Fredo Echigoren and Totoy Echigoren, allegedly started drinking liquor and smoking marijuana in Gerente’s house which is about 6 meters away from the house of Edna Edwina Reyes who was in her house on that day. She overheard the three men talking about their intention to kill Clarito Blace. She testified that she heard Fredo Echigoren saying, “Gabriel, papatayin natin si Clarito Blace.” Fredo and Totoy Echigoren and Gerente carried out their plan to kill Clarito Blace at about 2:00 p.m. of the same day. Reyes allegedly witnessed the killing. Fredo Echigoren struck the first blow against Clarito Blace, followed by Totoy Echigoren and Gabriel Gerente who hit him twice with a piece of wood in the head and when he fell, Totoy Echigoren dropped a hollow block on the victim’s head. Thereafter, the three men dragged Blace to a place behind the house of Gerente. At about 4:00 p.m. of the same day, Patrolman Jaime Urrutia of the Valenzuela Police Station received a report from the Palo Police Detachment about a mauling incident. He went to the Valenzuela District Hospital where the victim was brought. He was informed by the hospital officials that the victim died on arrival. The cause of death was massive fracture of the skull caused by a hard and heavy object. Right away, Patrolman Urrutia, together with Police Corporal Romeo Lima and Patrolman Alex Umali, proceeded to Paseo de Blas where the mauling incident took place. There they found a piece of wood with blood stains, a hollow block and two roaches of marijuana. They were informed by Reyes that she saw the killing and she pointed to Gabriel Gerente as one of the three men who killed Clarito. The policemen proceeded to the house of Gerente, who was then sleeping. They told him to come out of the house and they introduced themselves as policemen. Patrolman Urrutia frisked Gerente and found a coin purse in his pocket which contained dried leaves wrapped in cigarette foil. The dried leaves were sent to the National Bureau of Investigation for examination. The Forensic Chemist found them to be marijuana. Only Gerente was apprehended by the police. The other suspects, Fredo and Totoy Echigoren, are still at large. On 2 May 1990, two separate informations were filed by Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Benjamin Caraig against him for Violation of Section 8, Art. II, of RA 6425, and for Murder. When arraigned on 16 May 1990, Gerente pleaded not guilty to both charges. A joint trial of the two cases was held. On 24 September 1990, the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela, Metro Manila, Branch 172, found Gerente guilty of Violation of Section 8 of Republic Act 6425 and sentenced him to 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 of Murder for which crime he was sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. . Gerente appealed. Issue: Whether the police officers have the personal knowledge of the killing of Blace to allow them to arrest, and the subsequent searchly Gerente’s person, without the necessary warrant.

Held: The search of Gerente’s person and the seizure of the marijuana leaves in his possession were valid because they were incident to a lawful warrantless arrest. Paragraphs (a) and (b), 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 person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it;” The policemen arrested Gerente only some 3 hours after Gerente and his companions had killed Blace. They saw Blace dead in the hospital and when they inspected the scene of the crime, they found the instruments of death: a piece of wood and a concrete hollow block which the killers had used to bludgeon him to death. The eye-witness, Edna Edwina Reyes, reported the happening to the policemen and pinpointed her neighbor, Gerente, as one of the killers. Under those circumstances, since the policemen had personal knowledge of the violent death of Blace and of facts indicating that Gerente and two others had killed him, they could lawfully arrest Gerente without a warrant. If they had postponed his arrest until they could obtain a warrant, he would have fled the law as his two companions did. The search conducted on Gerente’s person was likewise lawful because it was made as an incident to a valid arrest. This is in accordance with Section 12, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Court which provides that “A person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission of an offense, without a search warrant.” The frisk and search of Gerente’s person upon his arrest was a permissible precautionary measure of arresting officers to protect themselves, for the person who is about to be arrested may be armed and might attack them unless he is first disarmed.

PEOPLE VS. MAQUEDA [242 SCRA 565; G.R. NO.112983; 22 MAR 1994]

Facts: British Horace William Barker (consultant of WB) was slain inside his house in Tuba, Benguet while his Filipino wife, Teresita Mendoza was badly battered with lead pipes on the occasion of a robbery. Two household helpers, Norie and Julieta, identified Rene Salvamante (a former houseboy of the victims) and Maqueda @ “PUTOL” as the robbers. Only Richard Malig was arrested On 22 January 1992, prior to the arraignment of Richard Malig, the prosecution filed a motion to amend the information 2 to implead as co-accused Hector Maqueda alias Putol because the evaluation Of the evidence subsequently submitted established his complicity in the crime, and at the hearing of the motion the following day, the Prosecutor further asked that accused Richard Malig be dropped from the information because further evaluation of the evidence disclosed no sufficient evidence against him. Mike Tabayan and his friend also saw the two accused a kilometer away from the house of the victims that same morning, when the two accused asked them for directions. Maqueda was then arrested in Guinyangan, Quezon. He was taken to Calauag, Quezon where he signed a Sinumpaang Salaysay wherein he narrated his participation in the crime. According to SPO3 Molleno, he informed Maqueda of his constitutional rights before he signed such document. Afterwards he was brought to the Benguet Provincial Jail. While he was under detention, Maqueda filed a Motion to Grant Bail. He stated therein that "he is willing and volunteering to be a State witness in the above entitled case, it appearing that he is the least guilty among the accused in this case." Maqueda also admitted his involvement in the commission of the robbery to Prosecutor Zarate and to Salvosa. But denied and put up an alibi during trial. TC Maqueda guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of robbery with homicide and serious physical Injuries and sentenced him to Suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to indemnifiy the heirs of the victims. Since we have discarded the positive identification theory of the prosecution pinpointing accused Maqueda as the culprit, can we still secure a conviction based on the confession and the proof of corpus delicti as well as on circumstantial evidence? In order to establish the guilt of the accused through circumstantia1 evidence, the following requisites must be present: 1) there must be more than One circumstance; 2) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proved; and 3) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt (People vs. Pajarit, G.R. No. 82770, October 19, 1992, 214 SCRA 678). There must be an unbroken chain of circamstances which leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the defendant to the exclusion of all Others, as the author of the crime (People vs. Abuyen, G.R. No. 77285, September 4, 1992, 213 SCRA 569). The combination of all these circumstances plus extrajudicial confession produce the needed proof beyond reasonable doubt that indeed accused Maqueda is guilty of the crime. 11 The extrajudicial confession referred to is the Sinumpaang Salaysay (Exhibit: "LL") of Maqueda taken by SP02 Molleno immediately after Maqueda was arrested. Issue: Whether or Not the trial court was correct in holding that the Sinumpaan Salaysay is admissible as evidence. Held: No. The Sinumpaang Salaysay is inadmissible because it was in clear violation of the constitutional rights of

the accused. First, he was not informed of his right to remain silent and his right to counsel. Second, he cannot be compelled to be a witness against himself. At the time of the confession, the accused was already facing charges in court. He no longer had the right to remain silent and to counsel but he had the right to refuse to be a witness and not to have any prejudice whatsoever result to him by such refusal. And yet, despite his knowing fully well that a case had already been filed in court, he still confessed when he did not have to do so. The contention of the trial court that the accused is not entitled to such rights anymore because the information has been filed and awarrant of arrest has been issued already, is untenable. The exercise of the rights to remain silent and to counsel and to be informed thereof under Section 12(1) of the Bill of Rights are not confined to that period prior to the filing of a criminal complaint or information but are available at that stage when a person is "under investigation for the commission of an offense." Pursuant to Section 12(3) of the Bill of Rights therefore, such extra-judicial admission is inadmissible as evidence. As to the admissions made by Maqueda to Prosecutor Zarate and Ray Dean Salvosa, the trial court admitted their testimony thereon only to prove the tenor of their conversation but not to prove the truth of theadmission because such testimony was objected to as hearsay. Maqueda voluntarily and freely made them to Prosecutor Zarate not in the course of an investigation, but in connection with Maqueda's plea to be utilized as a state witness; and as to the other admission(Salvosa), it was given to a private person therefore admissible. Note: a distinction between a confession and admission has been made by the SC: Admission of a party. — The act, declaration or omission of party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against him. Confession. — The declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged, or of any offense necessarily included therein, may be given in evidence against him. PETITION DISMISSED. Posadas v. Court of Appeals Facts: Members of the Integrated National Police (INP) of the Davao Metrodiscom assigned with the Intelligence Task Force, Pat. Ursicio Ungab and Pat. Umbra Umpar conducted surveillance along Magallanes Street, Davao City. While in the vicinity of Rizal Memorial Colleges they spotted petitioner carrying a "buri" bag and they noticed him to be acting suspiciously. They approached the petitioner and identified themselves as members of the INP. Petitioner attempted to flee but his attempt to get away was unsuccessful. They then checked the "buri" bag of the petitioner where they found one (1) caliber .38 Smith & Wesson revolver with Serial No. 770196, two (2) rounds of live ammunition for a .38 caliber gun, a smoke (tear gas) grenade, and two (2) live ammunitions for a .22 caliber gun. They brought the petitioner to the police station for further investigation. In the course of the same, the petitioner was asked to show the necessary license or authority to possess firearms and ammunitions found in his possession but he failed to do so. He was then taken to the Davao Metrodiscom office and the prohibited articles recovered from him were indorsed to M/Sgt. Didoy the officer then on duty. He was prosecuted for illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions in the Regional Trial Court of Davao City.

Issue: Whether or Not the warantless search is valid.

Held: In justifying the warrantless search of the buri bag then carried by the petitioner, argues that under Section 12, Rule 136 of the Rules of Court a person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything used as proof of a commission of an offense without a search warrant. It is further alleged that the arrest without a warrant of the petitioner was lawful under the circumstances. in the case at bar, there is no question that, indeed, it is reasonable considering that it was effected on the basis of a probable cause. The probable cause is that when the petitioner acted suspiciously and attempted to flee with the buri bag there was a probable cause that he was concealing something illegal in the bag and it was the right and duty of the police officers to inspect the same. It is too much indeed to require the police officers to search the bag in the possession of the petitioner only after they shall have obtained a search warrant for the purpose. Such an exercise may prove to be useless, futile and much too late. Clearly, the search in the case at bar can be sustained under the exceptions heretofore discussed, and hence, the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures has not been violated.

People vs. Doria [GR 125299, 22 January 1999] En Banc, Puno (J): 13 concur Facts: In November 1995, members of the North Metropolitan District, Philippine National Police (PNP) Narcotics Command (Narcom), received information from 2 civilian informants (CI) that one “Jun” was engaged in illegal drug activities in Mandaluyong City. The Narcom agents decided to entrap and arrest “Jun” in a buy-bust operation. As arranged by one of the CI’s, a meeting between the Narcom agents and “Jun” was scheduled on 5 December 1995 at E. Jacinto Street in Mandaluyong City. On 5 December 1995, at 6:00 a.m., the CI went to the PNP Headquarters at EDSA, Kamuning, Quezon City to prepare for the buy-bust operation. The Narcom agents formed Team Alpha composed of P/Insp. Nolasco Cortes as team leader and PO3 Celso Manlangit, SPO1 Edmund Badua and four (4) other policemen as members. P/Insp. Cortes designated PO3 Manlangit as the poseur-buyer and SPO1 Badua as his back-up, and the rest of the team as perimeter security. Superintendent Pedro Alcantara, Chief of the North Metropolitan District PNP Narcom, gave the team P2,000.00 to cover operational expenses. From this sum, PO3 Manlangit set aside P1,600.00 — a one thousand peso bill and six (6) one hundred peso bills — as money for the buy-bust operation. The market price of one kilo of marijuana was then P1,600.00. PO3 Manlangit marked the bills with his initials and listed their serial numbers in the police blotter. The team rode in two cars and headed for the target area. At 7:20 a.m., “Jun” appeared and the CI introduced PO3 Manlangit as interested in buying one (1) kilo of marijuana. PO3 Manlangit handed “Jun” the marked bills worth P1,600.00. “Jun” instructed PO3 Manlangit to wait for him at the corner of Shaw Boulevard and Jacinto Street while he got the marijuana from his associate. An hour later, “Jun” appeared at the agreed place where PO3 Manlangit, the CI and the rest of the team were waiting. “Jun” took out from his bag an object wrapped in plastic and gave it to PO3 Manlangit. PO3 Manlangit forthwith arrested “Jun” as SPO1 Badua rushed to help in the arrest. They frisked “Jun” but did not find the marked bills on him. Upon inquiry, “Jun” revealed that he left the money at the house of his associate named “Neneth.” “Jun” led the police team to “Neneth’s” house nearby at Daang Bakal. The team found the door of “Neneth’s” house open and at woman inside. “Jun” identified the woman as his associate. SPO1 Badua asked “Neneth” about the P1,600.00 as PO3 Manlangit looked over “Neneth’s” house. Standing by the door, PO3 Manlangit noticed a carton box under the dining table. He saw that one of the box’s flaps was open and inside the box was something wrapped in plastic. The plastic wrapper and its contents appeared similar to the marijuana earlier “sold” to him by “Jun.” His suspicion aroused, PO3 Manlangit entered “Neneth’s” house and took hold of the box. He peeked inside the box and found that it contained 10 bricks of what appeared to be dried marijuana leaves. Simultaneous with the box’s discovery, SPO1 Badua recovered the marked bills from “Neneth.” The policemen arrested “Neneth.” They took “Neneth” and “Jun,” together with the box, its contents and the marked bills and turned them over to the investigator at headquarters. It was only then that the police learned that “Jun” is Florencio Doria y Bolado while “Neneth” is Violeta Gaddao y Catama. The 1 brick of dried marijuana leaves recovered from “Jun” plus the 10 bricks recovered from “Neneth’s” house were examined at the PNP Crime Laboratory. The bricks were found to be dried marijuana fruiting tops of various weights totalling 7,641.08 grams. On 7 December 1995, Doria and Gadda were charged with violation of Section 4, in relation to Section 21 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. After trial, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 156, Pasig City convicted Dorria and Gaddao. The trial court found the existence of an “organized/syndicated crime group” and sentenced both to death and pay a fine of P500,000.00 each. Hence, the automatic review. Issue: Whether the warrantless arrests of Doria and Gaddao are legally permissible. Held: It is recognized that in every arrest, there is a certain amount of entrapment used to outwit the persons violating or about to violate the law. Not every deception is forbidden. The type of entrapment the law forbids is the inducing of another to violate the law, the “seduction” of an otherwise innocent person into a criminal career.

Where the criminal intent originates in the mind of the entrapping person and the accused is lured into the commission of the offense charged in order to prosecute him, there is entrapment and no conviction may be had. Where, however, the criminal intent originates in the mind of the accused and the criminal offense is completed, the fact that a person acting as a decoy for the state, or public officials furnished the accused an opportunity for commission of the offense, or that the accused is aided in the commission of the crime in order to secure the evidence necessary to prosecute him, there is no entrapment and the accused must be convicted. The law tolerates the use of decoys and other artifices to catch a criminal. The warrantless arrest of Doria is not unlawful. Warrantless arrests are allowed in three instances as provided by Section 5 of Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, to wit: “A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. xxx” Under Section 5 (a), as abovequoted, a person may be arrested without a warrant if he “has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense.” Herein, Doria was caught in the act of committing an offense. When an accused is apprehended in flagrante delicto as a result of a buy-bust operation, the police are not only authorized but dutybound to arrest him even without a warrant. The warrantless arrest of Gaddao, the search of her person and residence, and the seizure of the box of marijuana and marked bills, however, are different matters. Our Constitution proscribes search and seizure without a judicial warrant and any evidence obtained without such warrant is inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. The rule is, however, not absolute. Search and seizure may be made without a warrant and the evidence obtained therefrom may be admissible in the following instances: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest; (2) search of a moving motor vehicle; (3) search in violation of customs laws; (4) seizure of evidence in plain view; (5) when the accused himself waives his right against unreasonable searches and seizures. To be lawful, the warrantless arrest of appellant Gaddao must fall under any of the three (3) instances enumerated in Section 5 of Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure. Gaddao was not caught red-handed during the buy-bust operation to give ground for her arrest under Section 5 (a) of Rule 113. She was not committing any crime. Contrary to the finding of the trial court, there was no occasion at all for Gaddao to flee from the policemen to justify her arrest in “hot pursuit.” In fact, she was going about her daily chores when the policemen pounced on her. Neither could the arrest of Gaddao be justified under the second instance of Rule 113. “Personal knowledge” of facts in arrests without warrant under Section 5 (b) of Rule 113 must be based upon “probable cause” which means an “actual belief or reasonable grounds of suspicion.” Gaddao was arrested solely on the basis of the alleged identification made by her co-accused, Doria. Save for Doria’s word, the Narcom agents had no reasonable grounds to believe that she was engaged in drug pushing. If there is no showing that the person who effected the warrantless arrest had, in his own right, knowledge of facts implicating the person arrested to the perpetration of a criminal offense, the arrest is legally objectionable. Since the warrantless arrest of Gaddao was illegal, it follows that the search of her person and home and the subsequent seizure of the marked bills and marijuana cannot be deemed legal as an incident to her arrest.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. LORETO SALANGGA Facts: Accused-appellant Loreto Salangga, alias "Dodong," and Laureto Lopez, alias "Retoy," were haled to court as conspirators in the rape and killing of a fifteen-year old barrio lass named Imelda Talaboc.

Imelda Talaboc was sent by her mother to fetch water from the spring, or "bugac," the only source of water in the vicinity. Imelda left with two one-gallon containers. Witness said that on that night they saw appellant Salangga walking about three meters ahead of Imelda. He noticed that appellant kept glancing back towards Imelda who was carrying water containers. Trailing the girl was accused Lopez who was walking behind her at a distance of about twenty fathoms. 3 On the same occasion, Lenie Alingay, a twelve-year old elementary student residing at Sitio Ogsing, was on her way home from her grandfather's house. She recounted that she met Imelda at the downhill crossing leading towards the barrio. Lenie explained that she was about four meters away from Imelda, while the latter was following appellant and walking about two meters behind him. As Imelda came abreast with Lenie, the former asked the latter if she was going to school on Monday. Then, as Lenie proceeded on her way home, she saw that Lopez who was sitting on a rice paddy suddenly stood up and followed Imelda. At about the same time, Lenie also saw Ricky Monterde fetching water from the spring. At around 8:00 o'clock that same night, they found the corpse of Imelda lying in the bushes about twenty meters away from where the water containers were earlier found. Imelda was found with her clothes on but her panty was missing. Her face was disfigured by physical blows, she had been stabbed by a knife, and her eyes were gouged out. The searching party brought home the body of the victim. Appellant and Lopez were arrested that same night at around 8:00 o'clock, after the corpse of Imelda had been found, upon the orders of Barangay Captain Laput based on the information given by Ricky and Lenie implicating the two of them. They both became the main suspects responsible for the grievous fate of Imelda, as they were the persons last seen with her before the tragedy. The soldiers of the 46th Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army took them into custody. At the army detachment, said suspects were bodily searched. According to the prosecution, the soldiers recovered from appellant a piece of lady's underwear, later identified by Talaboc to be that of his daughter, Imelda. Afterwards, both suspects were ordered to undress. The prosecution claims that appellant's body bore what looked like bite marks and scratches, but none was found on the body of Lopez. The following morning, the suspects were brought to the office of Station Commander Manuel Macabutas in the municipal hall where both were investigated by P/Sgt. Mario Gataber of the Magsaysay Police Station. Appellant scrawled his quivery signature on an unsworn statement, 5 handwritten by some other person, wherein he admitted the crime charged, except that he was not able to consummate his bestial desire because Imelda fought very hard against him. 6 The accused were then brought to the 46th Infantry Brigade Headquarters where they were allegedly subjected to severe physical beatings by the soldiers. Unable to bear the maltreatment any further, they were compelled to admit the earlier accusations against them. Assisted by counsel de oficio, both accused pleaded not guilty during their arraignment. After trial, judgment was rendered by said trial court on February 21, 1991 finding appellant Salangga guilty of attempted rape with homicide, imposing upon him the penalty of reclusion perpetua but with full credit for his preventive imprisonment, and ordering him to pay P30,000.00 as indemnity to the heirs of the victim. Accused Laureto Lopez was acquitted for failure of the prosecution to prove his guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Appellant Loreto Salangga has now come before us, through counsel de oficio, contending that the trial court erred in convicting him of the crime charged on the basis of insufficient circumstantial evidence. LEGAL BASIS: Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court provides that a peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person when (a) in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) an offense has in fact just been committed and he has personal knowledge of the facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and (c) the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped. In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) thereof, the person to be arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail, and he shall be proceeded against in accordance with Section 7, Rule 112. Issue: WON the accused right against unjustified warrantless arrest was violated? Held: From these provisions, it is not hard to conclude that appellant was arrested in violation of his fundamental right against unjustified warrantless arrest. On the night he was arrested, he was in his house peacefully attending to some domestic chores therein. It cannot be suggested that he was in any way committing a crime or attempting

to commit one. Also, the soldiers had no personal knowledge of the crime he was being charged with, nor was he a fugitive from the law. The right of the accused to be secure against any unreasonable searches on and seizure of his own body and any deprivation of his liberty is a most basic and fundamental one. The statute or rule which allows exceptions to the requirement of a warrant of arrest is strictly construed. Its application cannot be extended beyond the cases specifically provided by law. 8 Bernardo Talaboc testified that both accused were frisked and asked to undress before him, some soldiers of the 46th Infantry Brigade, and Barangay Captain Laput inside the Army detachment. If he is to be believed, that body search incredibly yielded a lady's panty from the pocket of appellant and which underwear he identified as that of his daughter. It would surely have been the height of stupidity for appellant to be keeping on his person an incriminating piece of evidence which common sense dictates should have been destroyed or disposed of. For that matter, according to Barangay Captain Laput before whom appellant was brought shortly after his apprehension and who was also present therein, nothing was taken from said appellant. 9 In any event, the underwear allegedly taken from the accused is inadmissible in evidence, being a so-called "fruit of a poisonous tree." Likewise, there is definitely an improbability in the claim of Talaboc that he was able to recognize the underwear of his daughter. It is an a typical and abnormal situation under Filipino customs for a father to be familiar with the underwear of his daughter. This is highly improbable, and it is plain common sense that improbabilities must be carefully scrutinized and not readily accepted. The aforesaid testimony of Laput thus suffers from serious flaws attendant to its taking which accordingly taint its credibility. The long delay in his disclosure bolsters the suspicion that such testimony is biased, if not fabricated. Laput's claim that he revealed the aforesaid facts to Sgt. Gataber 11 is belief by his own sworn statement. It is true, and we was have so held, that sworn statements executed before police officers are usually incomplete and contain data which are inconsistent with the facts narrated by the witnesses to said officers. For this reason, courts have generally brushed aside, as inconsequential, contradictions in the sworn statement of a witness and his testimony as long as these dwell only on minor and reconcilable matters. 12 However, the aforesaid allegations on the supposed scratches and bite marks on the body of appellant can by no means be considered as minor or trivial matters. The prosecution, in fact, relies heavily thereon to support its theory of the case. Since every circumstance must be taken into consideration in passing upon the guilt or innocence of the accused, it becomes crucial for his eventual acquittal when such discrepancies touch on substantial and irreconcilable facts, as when the omission in the sworn statement concerns an important detail which the affiant would not have failed to mention, and which omission could accordingly affect his credibility. 13 WHEN CAN RIGHTS BE WAIVE: To constitute waiver, it must appear: 1) 2) firstly, that the right exists; secondly, that the person involved had knowledge, actual or constructive, of the existence of such right; and, lastly, that said person had an actual intention to relinquish the right. 14 Courts understandably indulge every reasonable presumption against waiver of fundamental safeguards and do not deduce acquiescence in the loss of elementary rights. 15


It is consequently evident that since appellant was not assisted by any counsel during his custodial investigation, his supposed incriminatory statement is inadmissible and cannot be considered in the adjudication of this case. Oddly enough, even Sgt. Gataber was skeptical as to the validity of the statement he took from appellant. 17 The rule, of course, is that no in-custody investigation shall be conducted unless it be in the presence of counsel engaged by the person arrested, by any person in his behalf or appointed by the court upon petition either of the detainee himself or by someone in his behalf. 18 While the right to counsel may be waived, such waiver must be effected voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently. Further, waiver must be with the assistance of counsel. 19 The absence of counsel at that stage makes the statement, in contemplation of law, involuntary, even if it was otherwise voluntary in a non-technical sense. With the Court now unanimously upholding the exclusionary rule in toto, the constitutional mandate is given full force and effect. This constitutional edict has been proved by historical experience to be the practical means of enforcing the constitutional injunction against unreasonable searches and seizures by outlawing all evidence illegally seized and thereby removing the incentive part of the military and police officers to disregard such basic rights. This is of special public importance and serves as a shield in the remote provinces and rural areas to the people who have no access to courts for prompt and immediate relief from violations of their rights. 20

Section 5 of Rule 133 provides that when no direct evidence is available, circumstantial evidence will suffice when the following requirements are present: (a) there are more than one circumstance, (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven, and (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. Furthermore, before conviction can be had upon circumstantial evidence, the circumstances proved should constitute an unbroken chain which leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the author of the crime. 21 A meticulous and closer inquiry into the records reveals that there is really but one sole circumstance upon which the court relied in its decision, that is, that Imelda was seen trailing behind appellant by a few meters on the path towards her house. The prosecution presented two witnesses on this very same fact but the testimony thereon of two witnesses cannot convert one circumstance into two. All other "circumstances" under the prosecution's theory, such as the underwear allegedly found in appellant's pocket, the supposed scratches and bite marks on his body, and his dubious confession to Sgt. Gataber are all products of an illegal process, aside from their questionable veracity. Assuming arguendo that appellant was seen walking in front of Imelda about two hours before the discovery of the death of the latter, such fact could not lead a prudent man to conclude that appellant was the one responsible for the misfortune that befell the victim. Also, Sgt. Gataber believed that Lenie Alingay and Ricky Monterde could shed light on the case and so he claimed to have taken their statements, but, surprisingly, no sworn statements were executed by them. Later, he retracted what he said, announcing instead that he actually referred the taking of the statements to Sgt. Saraum, but he could not remember if the statements, if thereafter taken, were attached to the records. 22 We reject the People's hypothesis on the alleged "confession" of appellant to a certain Pastor Juan Tapic. The records reveal that there was a statement of appellant merely saying that he and Lopez were suspects in the rape and death of Imelda but never did he say that they were the ones responsible for such crime. Also, if the prosecution really believed that the appellant truly admitted to Pastor Tapic his participation in the crime, it is puzzling that said pastor was not called by the prosecution to take the witness stand. A party's failure to produce evidence, which if favorable would naturally have been produced, is open to the inference that the facts were unfavorable to his case. 23 Verily, that failure to present Pastor Tapic can only mean that the prosecution itself doubted what appellant precisely meant when he said that there are two of them, that is, himself and Lopez. Well-entrenched is the rule that the findings of facts of trial courts carry great weight for these courts enjoy the advantage of having observed the demeanor of the witnesses on the witness stand and, therefore, can discern if these witnesses are telling the truth or not. However, likewise well-settled are the exceptions thereto, which are when (1) the conclusion is a finding based entirely on speculations, (2) the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible, (3) there is a grave abuse of discretion, and (4) the finding is based on a misapprehension of the facts. 26 The evidentiary bases for the conclusions of the lower court having been demonstrated to be either incompetent in law or incredible in fact, the exceptive circumstances have to be given full sway. The prosecution's evidence regrettably leaves much to be desired, unfortunately as a consequence of faulty investigative work in the first place. This Court must, however, be guided by a rule of long standing and consistency that if the inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of one or more explanations, one of which is consistent with the innocence of the accused and the other consistent with his guilt, then the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty and is not sufficient to support a conviction. 27 In our criminal justice system, the overriding consideration is not whether the court doubts the innocence of the accused but whether it entertains a reasonable doubt as to his guilt. This determinant, with the constitutional presumption of innocence which can be overthrown only by the strength of the prosecution's own evidence proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt, irresistibly dictate an exoneration in this case. It is indeed a bitter truth for the victim's family to face, that human justice seems to have failed then due to the foregoing confluent factors. We deeply commiserate with them and sincerely hope that, somehow and in God's own time, divine retribution shall be visited upon the evil author of this human tragedy. WHEREFORE, the assailed judgment of the court a quo is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accused-appellant Loreto Salangga is hereby ACQUITTED and ordered to be immediately released unless there are other grounds for his continued detention, with costs de oficio. SO ORDERED. Narvasa, C.J., Padilla, Puno and Mendoza, JJ., concur.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful