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Right against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

G.R. No. 81567


In Re: Umil v. Ramos (1990)
Per Curiam

Summarized by Francis Eldon Mabutin

These are eight (8) petitioners for habeas corpus filed before the Court, which have been
consolidated because of the similarity of issues raised, praying for the issuance of the writ of habeas
corpus, ordering the respective respondents to produce the bodies of the persons named therein and
to explain why they should not be set at liberty without further delay.

FACTS

G.R. No. 81567: Umil v. Ramos


1. 1 February 1988: The Regional Intelligence Operations Unit of the Capital Command (RIOU-CAPCOM)
received confidential information about a member of the NPA Sparrow Unit (liquidation squad) being treated
for a gunshot wound at the St. Agnes Hospital in Roosevelt Avenue, Quezon City. Upon verification, it was found
that the wounded person, who was listed in the hospital records as Ronnie Javelon, is actually Rolando Dural,
a member of the NPA liquidation squad, responsible for the killing of two (2) CAPCOM soldiers the day
before, or on 31 January 1988, in Macanining Street, Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City. In view of this verification,
Rolando Dural was transferred to the Regional Medical Services of the CAPCOM, for security reasons. While
confined thereat, or on 4 February 1988, Rolando Dural was positively identified by eyewitnesses as the
gunman who went on top of the hood of the CAPCOM mobile patrol car, and fired at the two (2) CAPCOM
soldiers seated inside the car identified as T/Sgt. Carlos Pabon and CIC Renato Manligot.
2. As a consequence of this positive identification, Rolando Dural was referred to the Caloocan City Fiscal who
conducted an inquest and thereafter filed with the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City an information
charging Rolando Dural alias Ronnie Javelon with the crime of "Double Murder with Assault Upon Agents of
Persons in Authority." The case was docketed therein as Criminal Case No. C-30112 and no bail was
recommended. On 15 February 1988, the information was amended to include, as defendant, Bernardo Itucal, Jr.
who, at the filing of the original information, was still unidentified.
3. Meanwhile, on 6 February 1988, a petition for habeas corpus was filed with this Court on behalf of Roberto Umil,
Rolando Dural, and Renato Villanueva. The Court issued the writ of habeas corpus on 9 February 1988 and the
respondents filed a Return of the Writ on 12 February 1988. Thereafter, the parties were heard on 15 February 1988.
4. On 26 February 1988, however, Roberto Umil and Renato Villanueva posted bail before the Regional Trial Court of
Pasay City where charges for violation of the Anti-Subversion Act had been filed against them, and they were
accordingly released. The petition for habeas corpus, insofar as Umil and Villanueva are concerned, is now
moot and academic and is accordingly dismissed, since the writ of habeas corpus does not lie in favor of an
accused in a criminal case who has been released on bail.
5. As to Rolando Dural, it clearly appears that he was not arrested while in the act of shooting the two (2) CAPCOM
soldiers aforementioned. Nor was he arrested just after the commission of the said offense for his arrest came a day
after the said shooting incident. Seemingly, his arrest without warrant is unjustified.
6. However, Rolando Dural was arrested for being a member of the New Peoples Army (NPA), an outlawed subversive
organization. Subversion being a continuing offense, the arrest of Rolando Dural without warrant is justified
as it can be said that he was committing an offense when arrested. The crimes of rebellion, subversion,
conspiracy or proposal to commit such crimes, and crimes or offenses committed in furtherance thereof or in
connection therewith constitute direct assaults against the State and are in the nature of continuing crimes.

G.R. Nos. 84581-82: Roque v. De Villa

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1. 27 June 1988: Rogelio Ramos y Ibanes, a member of the NPA, who had surrendered to
the military authorities, told military agents about the operations of the Communist Party of the Philippines
(CPP) and the New Peoples Army (NPA) in Metro Manila. He identified some of his former comrades as "Ka
Mong", a staff member of the Communications and Transportation Bureau; "Ka Nelia", a staff member in charge of
finance; "Ka Miller", an NPA courier from Sorsogon and Lopez, Quezon; "Ka Ted", and "Ka Totoy". He also pointed to
a certain house occupied by Renato Constantino located in the Villaluz Compound, Molave St., Marikina Heights,
Marikina, Metro Manila, which is used as a safehouse of the National United Front Commission (NUFC) of the CPP-
NPA.
2. In view of these revelations, the Constantino house was placed under military surveillance and on 12 August
1988, pursuant to a search warrant issued by Judge Eutropio Migrino of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, a
search of the house was conducted at about 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon, by a combined team of the Criminal
Investigation Service, National Capital District (CIS-NCD) and the Constabulary Security Group (CSG).
3. When confronted, Renato Constatino could not produce any permit or authority to possess the firearms, ammunition,
radio and other communications equipment. Hence, he was brought to the CIS Headquarters for investigation. When
questioned, he refused to give a written statement, although he admitted that he was a staff member of the executive
committee of the NUFC and a ranking member of the International Department of the Communist Party of the
Philippines (CPP)
4. At about 8:00 o'clock in the evening of the same day (12 August 1988), Wilfredo Buenaobra arrived at the house of
Renato Constantino in the Villaluz Compound. When accosted, he readily admitted to the military agents that
he is a regular member of the CPP/NPA and that he went to the place to deliver letters to "Ka Mong" , referring
to Renato Constatino, and other members of the rebel group. On further questioning, he also admitted that he is
known as "Ka Miller" and that he was from Barangay San Pedro, Lopez, Quezon.
5. Also found Buenaobra's possession was a piece of paper containing a written but jumbled telephone number of
Florida M. Roque, sister of Amelia Roque alias "Ka Nelia", at 69 Geronimo St., Caloocan City. Acting on the lead, the
military agents went to the given address the next day (13 August 1988). They arrived at the place at about
11:00 o'clock in the morning. After identifying themselves as military agents and after seeking permission to
search the place, which was granted, the military agents conducted a search in the presence of the occupants
of the house and the barangay captain of the place, one Jesus D. Olba.
6. As a result, Amelia Roque and the other occupants of the house were brought to the PC-CIS Headquarters at Camp
Crame, Quezon City, for investigation. Amelia Roque admitted to the investigators that the voluminous
documents belonged to her and that the other occupants of the house had no knowledge of them. As a result,
the said other occupants of the house were released from custody.
7. On 15 August 1988, Amelia Roque was brought to the Caloocan City Fiscal for inquest after which an
information charging her with violation of PD 1866 was filed with the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City.
Another information for violation of the Anti-Subversion Act was filed against Amelia Roque before the
Metropolitan Trial Court of Caloocan City. An information for violation of the Anti-Subversion Act was filed
against Wilfredo Buenaobra before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Marikina, Metro Manila. On 24 August 1988,
a petition for habeas corpus was filed before this Court on behalf of Amelia Roque and Wilfredo Buenaobra. At the
hearing of the case, however, Wilfredo Buenaobra manifested his desire to stay in the PC-INP Stockade at Camp
Crame, Quezon City. According, the petition for habeas corpus filed on his behalf is now moot and academic. Only the
petition of Amelia Roque remains for resolution.
8. The contention of respondents that petitioners Roque and Buenaobra are officers and/or members of the National
United Front Commission (NUFC) of the CPP was not controverted or traversed by said petitioners. The contention
must be deemed admitted. As officers and/or members of the NUFC-CPP, their arrest, without warrant, was
justified for the same reasons earlier stated vis-a-vis Rolando Dural. The arrest without warrant of Roque was
additionally justified as she was, at the time of apprehension, in possession of ammunitions without license to possess
them.

G.R. Nos. 84583-84: Anonuevo v. Ramos


1. At about 7:30 o'clock in the evening of 13 August 1988, Domingo T. Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple arrived at the
house of Renato Constatino at Marikina Heights, Marikina, which was still under surveillance by military agents. The
military agents noticed bulging objects on their waist lines. When frisked, the agents found them to be loaded

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guns. Anonuevo and Casiple were asked to show their permit or license to possess or
carry firearms and ammunition, but they could not produce any. Hence, they were brought to PC Headquarters
for investigation. At the PC Stockade, Domingo Anonuevo was identified as "Ka Ted", and Ramon Casiple as "Ka
Totoy" of the CPP, by their comrades who had previously surrendered to the military.
2. On 15 August 1988, the record of the investigation and other documentary evidence were forwarded to the Provincial
Fiscal at Pasig, Metro Manila, who conducted an inquest, after which Domingo Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple
were charged with violation of Presidential Decree No. 1866 before the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Metro
Manila.
3. On 24 August 1988, a petition for habeas corpus was filed with this Court on behalf of Domingo Anonuevo and Ramon
Casiple, alleging that the said Anonuevo and Casiple were unlawfully arrested without a warrant and that the
informations filed against them are null and void for having been filed without prior hearing and preliminary
investigation. On 30 August 1988, the Court issued the writ of habeas corpus, and after the respondents had filed a
Return of the Writ, the parties were heard.
4. The petitioners' (Anonuevo and Casiple) claim that they were unlawfully arrested because there was no previous
warrant of arrest, is without merit The record shows that Domingo Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple were carrying
unlicensed firearms and ammunition in their person when they were apprehended.
5. The petitioners Domingo Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple, however, refused to sign a waiver of the provisions of Article
125 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. In the informations filed against them, the prosecutor made identical
certifications. Nor did petitioners ask for a preliminary investigation after the informations had been filed against them
in court. Petitioners cannot now claim that they have been deprived of their constitutional right to due process.

G.R. No. 83162: Ocaya v. Aguirre


1. The arrest without warrant of Vicky Ocaya is justified under the Rules, since she had with her unlicensed ammunition
when she was arrested. The record of this case shows that on 12 May 1988, agents of the PC Intelligence and
Investigation of the Rizal PC-INP Command, armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Eutropio Migrino
of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Metro Manila, conducted a search of a house located at Block 19, Phase
II, Marikina Green Heights, Marikina, Metro Manila, believed to be occupied by Benito Tiamson, head of the
CPP-NPA.
2. In the course of the search, Vicky Ocaya arrived in a car driven by Danny Rivera. Subversive documents and
several rounds of ammunition for a .45 cal. pistol were found in the car of Vicky Ocaya. As a result, Vicky
Ocaya and Danny Rivera were brought to the PC Headquarters for investigation. When Vicky Ocaya could not
produce any permit or authorization to possess the ammunition, an information charging her with violation of PD 1866
was filed with the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Metro Manila.
3. On 17 May 1988, a petition for habeas corpus was filed, with this Court on behalf of Vicky Ocaya and Danny Rivera. It
was alleged therein that Vicky Ocaya was illegally arrested and detained, and denied the right to a preliminary
investigation.
4. It would appear, however, that Vicky Ocaya was arrested in flagranti delicto so that her arrest without a warrant is
justified. No preliminary investigation was conducted because she was arrested without a warrant and she refused to
waive the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, pursuant to Sec. 7, Rule 112 of the Rule of Court, as
amended.

G.R. No. 85727: Espiritu v. Lim


1. The record of the case shows that the said petitioner is the General Secretary of the Pinagkaisahang Samahan ng
Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON), an association of drivers and operators of public service vehicles in the
Philippines, organized for their mutual aid and protection.
2. Petitioner claims that at about 5:00 o'clock in the morning of 23 November 1988, while he was sleeping in his home
located at 363 Valencia St., Sta. Mesa, Manila, he was awakened by his sister Maria Paz Lalic who told him that
a group of persons wanted to hire his jeepney. When he went down to talk to them, he was immediately put
under arrest. When he asked for the warrant of arrest, the men, headed by Col. Ricardo Reyes, bodily lifted
him and placed him in their owner-type jeepney. He demanded that his sister, Maria Paz Lalic, be allowed to
accompany him, but the men did not accede to his request and hurriedly sped away.

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3. He was brought to Police Station No. 8 of the Western Police District at Blumentritt, Manila
where he was interrogated and detained. Then, at about 9:00 o'clock of the same morning, he was brought
before the respondent Lim and, there and then, the said respondent ordered his arrest and detention. He was
thereafter brought to the General Assignment Section, Investigation Division of the Western Police District
under Police Capt. Cresenciano A. Cabasal where he was detained, restrained and deprived of his liberty.
4. The respondents also claim that the petitioner was lawfully arrested without a judicial warrant of arrest since petitioner
when arrested had in fact just committed an offense in that in the afternoon of 22 November 1988, during a press
conference at the National Press Club.
5. Policemen waited for petitioner outside the National Pres Club in order to investigate him, but he gave the lawmen the
slip. He was next seen at about 5:00 o'clock that afternoon at a gathering of drivers and symphatizers at the corner of
Magsaysay Blvd. and Valencia Street, Sta. Mesa, Manila where he was heard to say:
Bukas tuloy ang welga natin, sumagot na ang Cebu at Bicol na kasali sila, at hindi tayo titigil hanggang hindi
binibigay ng gobyerno ni Cory ang gusto nating pagbaba ng halaga ng spare parts, bilihin at and pagpapalaya sa
ating pinuno na si Ka Roda hanggang sa magkagulo na.
6. The police finally caught up with the petitioner on 23 November 1988. He was invited for questioning and brought
to police headquarters after which an Information for violation of Art. 142 of the Revised Penal Code was filed
against him before the Regional Trial Court of Manila.

G.R. No. 86332: Nazareno v. Station Commander


1. At about 8:30 o'clock in the morning of 14 December 1988, one Romulo Bunye II was killed by a group of men near
the corner of T. Molina and Mendiola Streets in Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila. One of the suspects in the killing
was Ramil Regal who was arrested by the police on 28 December 1988.
2. Upon questioning, Regal pointed to Narciso Nazareno as on of his companions in the killing of the said
Romulo Bunye II. In view thereof, the police officers, without warrant, picked up Narciso Nazareno and
brought him to the police headquarters for questioning. Obviously, the evidence of petitioner's guilt is strong
because on 3 January 1989, an information charging Narciso Nazareno, Ramil Regala, and two (2) others, with the
killing of Romulo Bunye II was filed with the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Metro Manila.
3. On 7 January 1989, Narciso Nazareno filed a motion to post bail, but the motion was denied by the trial court
in an order dated 10 January 1989, even as the motion to post bail, earlier filed by his co-accused, Manuel
Laureaga, was granted by the same trial court. On 13 January 1989, a petition for habeas corpus was filed with
this Court on behalf of Narciso Nazareno and on 13 January 1989, the Court issued the writ of habeas corpus,
returnable to the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Bian, Laguna, Branch 24, ordering said court to hear
the case on 30 January 1989 and thereafter resolve the petition.
4. At the conclusion of the hearing, or on 1 February 1989, the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Bian,
Laguna issued a resolution denying the petition for habeas corpus, it appearing that the said Narciso
Nazareno is in the custody of the respondents by reason of an information filed against him with the Regional
Trial Court of Makati, Metro Manila which had taken cognizance of said case and had, in fact, denied the motion
for bail filed by said Narciso Nazareno (presumably because of the strength of the evidence against him).

ISSUE with HOLDING


1. Whether or not there was unreasonable searches and seizures and unjustified warrantless arrests
(or illegal detention) in the aforementioned petitions
- Umil Petition: Rolando Dural was arrested for being a member of the New Peoples Army
(NPA), an outlawed subversive organization. Subversion being a continuing offense, the
arrest of Rolando Dural without warrant is justified as it can be said that he was
committing an offense when arrested. The crimes of rebellion, subversion, conspiracy or
proposal to commit such crimes, and crimes or offenses committed in furtherance thereof or in
connection therewith constitute direct assaults against the State and are in the nature of
continuing crimes.
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- Roque Petition: The arrest of Amelia Roque and Wilfredo Buenaobra,
without warrant, is also justified. When apprehended at the house of Renato Constantino in
Marikina Heights, Marikina, Metro Manila, Wilfredo Buenaobra admitted that he was an NPA
courier and he had with him letters to Renato Constantino and other members of the rebel
group. Amelia Roque, upon the other hand, was a member of the National United Front
Commission, in charge of finance, and admitted ownership of subversive documents found in
the house of her sister in Caloocan City. She was also in possession of ammunition and a
fragmentation grenade for which she had no permit or authority to possess.
- Anonuevo Petition: The arrest of Domingo Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple, without warrant, is
also justified under the rules. Both are admittedly members of the standing committee of the
NUFC and, when apprehended in the house of Renato Constatino, they had a bag containing
subversive materials, and both carried firearms and ammunition for which they had no license
to possess or carry.
- Ocaya Petition: The arrest without warrant of Vicky Ocaya is justified under the Rules, since
she had with her unlicensed ammunition when she was arrested. Vicky Ocaya was arrested in
flagrante delicto so that her arrest without a warrant is justified.
- Roque, Anonuevo, and Ocaya Petition:
o The petitioners Vicky Ocaya, Domingo Anonuevo, Ramon Casiple, and Amelia Roque
claim that the firearms, ammunition and subversive documents alleged to have been
found in their possession when they were arrested, did not belong to them, but were
"planted" by the military agents to justify their illegal arrest. The petitioners, however,
have not introduced any evidence to support their aforesaid claim. On the other
hand, no evil motive or ill-will on the part of the arresting officers that would
cause the said arresting officers in these cases to accuse the petitioners falsely,
has been shown. Besides, the arresting officers in these cases do not appear to be
seekers of glory and bounty hunters for, as counsel for the petitioners Anonuevo and
Casiple say, "there is absolutely nothing in the evidence submitted during the inquest
that petitioners are on the 'AFP Order of Battle with a reward of P150,000.00 each on
their heads.'" The raid at Constantino's residence, was not a witch hunting or fishing
expedition on the part of the military. It was a result of an in-depth military surveillance
coupled with the leads provided by former members of the underground subversive
organizations. That raid produced positive results. to date, nobody has disputed the fact
that the residence of Constantino when raided yielded communication equipment,
firearms and ammunitions, as well as subversive documents.
o Less than twenty four hours after the arrest of Constantino and Buenaobra, petitioners
Anonuevo and Casiple arrived at Constantino's place. Would it be unreasonable for the
military agents to believe that petitioners Anonuevo and Casiple are among those
expected to visit Constantino's residence considering that Constatino's information was
true, in that Buenaobra did come to that place? Was it unreasonable under the
circumstances, on the part of the military agents, not to frisk and search anyone
who should visit the residence of Constantino, such as petitioners Anonuevo and
Casiple?

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o Petitioners, when arrested, were neither taking their snacks nor
innocently visiting a camp, but were arrested in such time, place and circumstances,
from which one can reasonably conclude tat they were up to a sinister plot, involving
utmost secrecy and comprehensive conspiracy.
- Espiritu Petition: Petitioner was lawfully arrested without a judicial warrant of arrest since
petitioner when arrested had in fact just committed an offense in that in the afternoon of 22
November 1988, during a press conference at the National Press Club. Since the arrest of the
petitioner without a warrant was in accordance with the provisions of Rule 113, Sec. 5(b) of the
Rules of Court and that the petitioner is detained by virtue of a valid information filed with the
competent court, he may not be released on habeas corpus.
- Nazareno Petition: The arrest of Nazareno was effected by the police without warrant pursuant
to Sec. 5(b), Rule 113, Rules of Court after he was positively implicated by his co-accused
Ramil Regala in the killing of Romulo Bunye II, and after investigation by the police authorities.

2. Whether granting the petitions for habeas corpus would be proper


- It is to be noted that, in all the petitions here considered, criminal charges have been filed in
the proper courts against the petitioners. The rule is, that if a person alleged to be restrained
of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court judge, and
that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process or make the order, of if
such person is charged before any court, the writ of habeas corpus will not be allowed.
- Petitioners plead the Court to re-examine and, thereafter, abandon its pronouncement in
Ilagan vs. Enrile, that a writ of habeas corpus is no longer available after an information is filed
against the person detained and a warrant of arrest or an order of commitment, is issued by
the court where said information has been filed. The petitioners claim that the said ruling,
which was handed down during the past dictatorial regime to enforce and strengthen said
regime, has no place under the present democratic dispensation and collides with the basic,
fundamental, and constitutional rights of the people.
- The Court finds, however, no compelling reason to abandon the said doctrine. It is based upon
express provision of the Rules of Court and the exigencies served by the law. The fears
expressed by the petitioners are not really unremediable.
- The answer and the better practice would be, not to limit the function of the habeas corpus to a
mere inquiry as to whether or not the court which issued the process, judgment or order of
commitment or before whom the detained person is charged, had jurisdiction or not to issue
the process, judgment or order or to take cognizance of the case, but rather, as the Court itself
states in Morales, Jr. vs. Enrile, "in all petitions for habeas corpus the court must inquire
into every phase and aspect of petitioner's detention-from the moment petition was
taken into custody up to the moment the court passes upon the merits of the petition ;"
and "only after such a scrutiny can the court satisfy itself that the due process clause of
our Constitution has in fact been satisfied."

DISPOSITIVE PORTION

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WHEREFORE, the petitions are hereby DISMISSED, except that in G.R.
No. 85727 (Espiritu vs. Lim), the bail bond for petitioner's provisional liberty is hereby ordered
reduced from P60,000.00 to P10,000.00. No costs.

DISSENTING OPINIONS

Cruz Dissent
- I dissent insofar as the ponencia affirms the ruling in Garcia-Padilla v. Enrile that
subversion is a continuing offense, to justify the arrest without warrant of any person at
any time as long as the authorities say he has been placed under surveillance on
suspicion of the offense.
o A person may be arrested when he is doing the most innocent acts, as when he is only
washing his hands, or taking his supper, or even when he is sleeping, on the ground
that he is committing the "continuing" offense of subversion. Libertarians were appalled
when that doctrine was imposed during the Marcos regime.
- I strongly urge my colleagues to discard it altogether as one of the disgraceful vestiges of the
past dictatorship and uphold the rule guaranteeing the right of the people against
unreasonable searches and seizures. We can do no less if we are really to reject the past
oppression and commit ourselves to the true freedom. Even if it be argued that the military
should be given every support in our fight against subversion, I maintain that that fight
must be waged honorably, in accordance with the Bill of Rights. I do not believe that in
fighting the enemy we must adopt the ways of the enemy, which are precisely what we are
fighting against. I submit that our more important motivation should be what are we fighting for.

Sarmiento Dissent

Umil Petition
- Rolando Dural was charged with "Double Murder with Assault upon Agents of Authority." If he had been guilty of
subversion the offense for which he was supposedly arrested via a warrantless arrest subversion
was the logical crime with which he should have been charged. The authorities could not have rightly
arrested him for subversion on account of the slay of the two CAPCOM soldiers, a possible basis for violation of
the Anti-Subversion Act, because as the majority points out, "he was not arrested while in the act of shooting
[them] . . . [n]or was he arrested just after the commission of the said offense for his arrest came a day after the
said shooting incident."
- I do not believe that a warrantless (or citizen's) arrest is possible in case of subversion in the absence
of any overt act that would justify the authorities to act."
o Subversion," as the term is known in law, means "knowingly, wilfully and by overt acts affiliat[ing] [oneself]
with, becom[ing] or remain[ing] a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines and/or its successor
or of any subversion association as defined in sections two and three hereof.... "
o Logically, the military could not have known that Dural, at the time he was taken, was a member of
the New People's Army because he was not performing any over act that he was truly, a rebel.
Indeed, it had to take a "verification" before he could be identified as allegedly a member of the
underground army. Under these circumstances, I am hard put to say that he was committing subversion
when he was arrested, assuming that he was guilty of subversion, for purposes of a warrantless arrest.
- "Overt act" is made up of "[e]very act, movement, deed and word of the [accused]," indicating intent to accomplish
a criminal objective. Dural, at the time he was arrested, was lying in a hospital bed. This is not the overt act
contemplated by law.
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o Under warrantless arrests, the person must have either been apprehended in
flagranti (first paragraph) or after the act, provided that the peace officer has "personal knowledge" that
he, the suspect, is guilty. As I stated, Dural was not caught in the act. Moreover, what the Regional
Intelligence Operations Unit of the Capital Command (RIOU-CAPCOM) had in its hands was a mere
"confidential information." I do not think that this is the personal knowledge referred to by the second
paragraph.
- The rule, furthermore, on warrantless arrest is an exceptional one. By its language, it may be exercised only in the
most urgent cases and when the guilt of an offender is plain and evident. What I think we have here is purely and
simply, the military taking the law in its hands. By stamping validity to Rolando Dural's warrantless arrest, I
am afraid that the majority has set a very dangerous precedent. With all due respect, my brethren has
accorded the military a blanket authority to pick up any Juan, Pedro, and Maria without a warrant for the
simple reason that subversion is supposed to be a continuing offense.
- That Rolando Dural was arrested for being a member of the New People's Army" is furthermore to me, a hasty
statement. It has yet to be established that Dural is indeed a member of the Communist Party's military
arm. And unless proven guilty, he is presumed, and must be presumed most of all by this Court, to be
innocent.
- The majority also says that habeas corpus is moot and academic because Dural has been convicted and is
serving sentence. I likewise take exception. It has been held that: "The writ may be granted upon a judgment
already final."

Roque Petition
- In the case of Wilfredo Buenaobra, the majority avers that he had "manifested his desire to stay in the PC-INP
stockade," for which habeas corpus has supposedly become moot and academic. I am not convinced that that is
reason enough to dismiss habeas corpus as moot and academic. It is the duty of this Court, in my opinion, to
make sure that Buenaobra has made his choice freely and voluntarily.
- That both parties had admitted to be members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (the National United
Front Commission) is a naked contention of the military. The fact that it has not been controverted, in my view,
does not justify the couple's arrest without warrant. Worse, by relying on the bare word of the military, this
very Court has, to all intents and purposes, condemned the duo for a crime (subversion and/or illegal
possession of firearms) the bone of contention, precisely, below.

Anonuevo Petition
- I also find the warrantless arrests of Domingo Aonuevo and Ramon Casiple to be contrary to law. That they are
"admittedly members of the standing committee of the NUFC" and that "subversive materials" and
unlicensed firearms were found in their possession, are, like Buenaobra's and Roque's cases, barren
claims of the military. I also fear that by the majority's strong language (that Aonuevo and Casiple are admitted
NUCF officers) the majority has pronounced the petitioners guilty, when the lower courts have yet to sit in
judgment. I think we should be the last to preempt the decision of the trial courts. We would have set to naught
the presumption of innocence accused persons enjoy.

Ocaya Petition
- With respect to the case of Vicky Ocaya, I am afraid that I am inclined towards the same conclusion. There was
basis at the outset to say that Ocaya was probably guilty of illegal possession of firearms. As I have
observed, a warrantless arrest must be predicated upon the existence of a crime being actually committed
or having been committed. What I find here, rather, is nothing less than a successful fishing expedition
conducted by the military upon an unwary citizen.

Espiritu Petition
- Espiritu was allegedly guilty of inciting to sedition as a result of a speech delivered in a press conference at the
National Press Club on November 21, 1988. He was, however, arrested the day after, November 22, 1988. Under

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these circumstances, it eludes me how an arrest without a warrant could be justified, either
under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of the Rule on warrantless arrests.
- The majority avers that since an information had been filed with the court, Espiritu's detention, is allegedly
justifiable. The question is whether or not an information is an authority to hold a person in custody. Under the
Rules, an information means "an accusation in writing charging a person with an offense subscribed by
the fiscal and filed with the court." It is not, however, an order to keep one under detention.

Nazareno Petition
- The offense for which Narciso Nazareno is being held the fatal shooting of Romulo Bunye II was committed
on December 14, 1988. It was, however, only on December 28, 1988 that the police collared a suspect, Ramil
Regala, who subsequently pointed to Nazareno as his accomplice. It also escapes me how Nazareno, under
these circumstances, could have been validly put under arrest without a warrant or the existence of the
circumstance described under either paragraph (a) or (b) of the Rule above-quoted: The crime had long
been committed prior to the arrest.

General Comments
- Garcia-Padilla is no longer good law under the present Constitution. Two reasons persuade me.
o It is repugnant to due process of law.
"The arrest, therefore, need not follow the usual procedure in the prosecution of offenses which
require the determination by a judge of the existence of probable cause before the issuance of a
judicial warrant of arrest and the granting of bail if the offense is bailable."
Under the 1987 Constitution, not even "[a] state of martial law suspend[s] the operation of
[the Charter]. . ."
o It leaves the liberty of citizens to the whim of one man.
"On these occasions [the existence of a state of emergency], the President takes absolute
command, for the very life of the Nation and its government, which, incidentally, includes the
courts, is in grave peril. In so doing, the President is answerable only to his conscience, the
people and to God. For their part, in giving him the supreme mandate as their President, the
people can only trust and pray that, giving him their own loyalty and without patriotism, the
President will not fail them."
Under the Charter now prevailing, the Chief Executive shares, to a certain extent, the exercise of
emergency powers, with Congress.
- The majority is denying habeas corpus on self-serving claims of the military that the petitioners (Dural,
Buenaobra, Roque, Aonuevo, and Casiple) are members of the Communist Party of the Philippines
and that they have supposedly confessed to be in fact members of the outlawed organization.
o The question that has not been answered is whether or not these supposed confessions are admissible,
for purposes of a warrantless arrest, as evidence of guilt, in the absence of any showing that they were
apprised of their constitutional rights. (!!!)
o I am perturbed by the silence of the majority. I am distressed because as we held in one case, violation of
the Constitution divests the court of jurisdiction and entitles the accused to habeas corpus.
- Accused persons have the right of preliminary investigation (examination). It forms part and parcel of due
process of law.
o I find the majority's reliance on U.S. v. Wilson, an ancient (1905) decision, inapt and untenable. In that
case, the accused had been served with a warrant and thereafter taken into custody. The question
that faced the Court was whether or not the warrant was valid, amid the accused's charges that
the judge who issued it did not examine the complainant under oath. We held that the query was
academic, because the accused had already pleaded, and the case had entered the trial stage.
o The cases at bar are not on all fours. Here, no warrant has been issued. I submit that in that event, the
petitioners are entitled to freedom by way of the writ of liberty.

Favorite paragraphs (hehe):

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x x x Four years ago at "EDSA", and many years before it, although with much fewer
of us, we valiantly challenged a dictator and all the evils his regime had stood for: repression of civil
liberties and trampling on of human rights. We set up a popular government, restored its honored institutions,
and crafted a democratic constitution that rests on the guideposts of peace and freedom. I feel that with this
Court's ruling, we have frittered away, by a stroke of the pen, what we had so painstakingly built in four
years of democracy, and almost twenty years of struggle against tyranny.

It also occurs to me that I am interposing what looms as a quixotic outlook of Philippine law on warrantless arrests
and its implications on liberty. It is an impression that does not surprise me. Quixotic as they may seem, and
modesty aside, my views reflect a strong bias on my part forged by years of experience and sharpened
by a painful and lonely struggle for freedom and justice toward men and women who challenge settled
beliefs. If this dissent can not gain any adherent for now, let it nevertheless go on record as a plea to
posterity and an appeal for tolerance of opinions with which we not only disagree, but opinions we
loathe.

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Right against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures
G.R. No. 81567
In Re: Umil v. Ramos (1991)
Per Curiam

Summarized by Francis Eldon Mabutin

Before the Court are separate motions filed by the petitioners in the above-entitled petitions,
seeking reconsideration of the Court's decision promulgated on 9 July 1990 (refer to above)

FACTS
1. In their separate motions for reconsideration, petitioners, in sum, maintain:
a. That the assailed decision, in upholding the validity of the questioned arrests made without
warrant, and in relying on the provisions of the Rules of Court, particularly Section 5 of Rule
113 (Arrest), disregards the fact that such arrests violated the constitutional rights of the
persons arrested;
b. That the doctrine laid down in Garcia vs. Enrile and Ilagan vs. Enrile should be abandoned;
c. That the decision erred in considering the admissions made by the persons arrested as to
their membership in the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army, and their
ownership of the unlicensed firearms, ammunitions and subversive documents found in
their possession at the time of arrest, inasmuch as those confessions do not comply with
the requirements on admissibility of extrajudicial admissions;
d. That the assailed decision is based on a misappreciation of facts; and
e. That G.R. No. 81567 (the Umil case) should not be deemed moot and academic.

ISSUE with HOLDING


1. Whether or not the Decision ruled that suspicion of being a member of the CPP or the NPA is a
valid ground for arrest
- The decision did not ruleas many misunderstood it to dothat mere suspicion that one is
Communist Party or New People's Army member is a valid ground for his arrest without
warrant. Moreover, the decision merely applied long existing laws to the factual
situations obtaining in the several petitions. Among these laws are those outlawing the
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) similar organizations and penalizing membership
therein (which will be dealt with shortly).
2. Whether the detention petitioners was illegal or not
- The Court before rendering decision dated 9 July 1990, looked into whether their questioned
arrests without warrant were made in accordance with law. For, if the arrests were made in
accordance with law, would follow that the detention resulting from such arrests also in
accordance with law.

Umil Petition
- The Court's decision of 9 July 1990 rules that the arrest Rolando Dural (G.R. No. 81567) without warrant is
justified it can be said that, within the contemplation of Section 5 Rule 113, he (Dural) was committing an offense,
when arrested because Dural was arrested for being a member of the New People's Army, an outlawed

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organization, where membership penalized, and for subversion which, like rebellion is,
under the doctrine of Garcia vs. Enrile, a continuing offense.
- Given the ideological content of membership in the CPP/NPA which includes armed struggle for the overthrow of
organized government, Dural did not cease to be, or became less of a subversive, for purposes of arrest,
simply because he was, at the time of arrest, confined in the St. Agnes Hospital.
- Viewed from another but related perspective, it may also be said, under the facts of the Umil case, that the
arrest of Dural falls under Section 5, paragraph (b), Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, which requires two (2)
conditions for a valid arrest without warrant: first, that the person to be arrested has just committed an
offense, and second, that the arresting peace officer or private person has personal knowledge of facts
indicating that the person to be arrested is the one who committed the offense. Section 5(b), Rule 113, it
will be noted, refers to arrests without warrant, based on "personal knowledge of facts" acquired by the arresting
officer or private person.
- The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when, in the absence of actual belief of the arresting officers,
the suspicion that the person to be arrested is probably guilty of committing the offense, is based on
actual facts, i.e., supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable
cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. A reasonable suspicion therefore must be founded on probable
cause, coupled with good faith on the part of the peace officers making the arrest.
o The confidential information received by the arresting officers merited their immediate attention and action
and, in fact, it was found to be true. Even the petitioners in their motion for reconsideration, believe that
the confidential information of the arresting officers to the effect that Dural was then being treated in St.
Agnes Hospital was actually received from the attending doctor and hospital management in compliance
with the directives of the law, and, therefore, came from reliable sources.
o The peace officers who arrested Dural are deemed to have conducted the same in good faith, considering
that law enforcers are presumed to regularly perform their official duties. The records show that the
arresting officers did not appear to have been ill-motivated in arresting Dural. It is therefore clear
that the arrest, without warrant, of Dural was made in compliance with the requirements of paragraphs (a)
and (b) of Section 5, Rule 113.
- A few days after Dural's arrest, without warrant, an information charging double murder with assault against
agents of persons in authority was filed against Dural in the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City. He was thus
promptly placed under judicial custody (as distinguished fro custody of the arresting officers). On 31 August 1988,
he was convicted of the crime charged and sentenced to reclusion perpetua.

Roque, Anonuevo, and Ocaya Petitions


- As to Amelia Roque and Wilfredo Buenaobra, Domingo Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple, and Vicky Ocaya, their
arrests, without warrant, are also justified. They were searched pursuant to search warrants issued by a
court of law and were found with unlicensed firearms, explosives and/or ammunition in their persons.
They were, therefore, caught in flagrante delicto which justified their outright arrests without warrant,
under Sec 5(a), Rule 113, Rules of Court.
- Parenthetically, it should be mentioned here that a few days after their arrests without warrant, informations were
filed in court against said petitioners, thereby placing them within judicial custody and disposition. Furthermore,
Buenaobra mooted his own petition for habeas corpus by announcing to this Court during the hearing of these
petitions that he had chosen to remain in detention in the custody of the authorities.
- It is to be noted in the above cases (Roque, Buenaobra, Anonuevo, Casiple and Ocaya) that the reason which
compelled the military agents to make the arrests without warrant was the information given to the
military authorities that two (2) safehouses (one occupied by Renato Constantino and the other by Benito
Tiamzon) were being used by the CPP/NPA for their operations, with information as to their exact location
and the names of Renato Constantino and Benito Tiamzon as residents or occupants thereof.
- The following circumstances surrounded said arrests of Roque, Buenaobra, Anonuevo and Casiple, which
confirmed the belief of the military agents that the information they had received was true and the persons to be
arrested were probably guilty of the commission of certain crimes:
o The search warrant was duly issued to effect the search of the Constantino safehouse;

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o Found in the safehouse was a person named Renato Constantino, who admitted
that he was a ranking member of the CPP, and found in his possession were unlicensed firearms and
communications equipment;
o At the time of their arrests, in their possession were unlicensed firearms, ammunitions and/or subversive
documents, and they admitted ownership thereof as well as their membership in the CPP/NPA; and
o Shortly after their arrests, they were positively identified by their former comrades in the organization as
CPP/NPA members.
- With all these facts and circumstances existing before, during and after the arrest of the afore-named
persons (Dural, Buenaobra, Roque, Anonuevo, Casiple and Ocaya), no prudent man can say that it would
have been better for the military agents not to have acted at all and made any arrest. That would have been
an unpardonable neglect of official duty and a cause for disciplinary action against the peace officers involved.

Espiritu Petition
- The authority of the peace officers to make the arrest, without warrant, at the time the words were uttered, or soon
thereafter, is still another thing. In the balancing of authority and freedom, which obviously becomes difficult at
times, the Court has, in this case, tilted the scale in favor of authority but only for purposes of the arrest (not
conviction).

Nazareno Petition
- Although the killing of Bunye II occurred on 14 December 1988, while Nazareno's arrest without warrant was
made only on 28 December 1988, or 14 days later, the arrest fans under Section 5(b) of Rule 113, since it was
only on 28 December 1988 that the police authorities came to know that Nazareno was probably one of
those guilty in the killing of Bunye II and the arrest had to be made promptly, even without warrant, (after
the police were alerted) and despite the lapse of fourteen (14) days to prevent possible flight.
- The Court, it is true, took into account the admissions of the arrested persons of their
membership in the CPP/NPA, as well as their ownership of the unlicensed firearms,
ammunitions and documents in their possession. But again, these admissions, as revealed
by the records, strengthen the Court's perception that truly the grounds upon which the
arresting officers based their arrests without warrant, are supported by probable cause,
i.e. that the persons arrested were probably guilty of the commission of certain
offenses, in compliance with Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. To note these
admissions, on the other hand, is not to rule that the persons arrested are already guilty of the
offenses upon which their warrantless arrests were predicated. The task of determining the
guilt or innocence of persons arrested without warrant is not proper in a petition for
habeas corpus. It pertains to the trial of the case on the merits.
- As to the argument that the doctrines in Garcia vs. Enrile, and Ilagan vs. Enrile should be
abandoned, this Court finds no compelling reason at this time to disturb the same,
particularly ln the light of prevailing conditions where national security and liability are
still directly challenged perhaps with greater vigor from the communist rebels. What is
important is that every arrest without warrant be tested as to its legality via habeas corpus
proceeding.
- The Court predicated the validity of the questioned arrests without warrant in these
petitions, not on mere unsubstantiated suspicion, but on compliance with the
conditions set forth in Section 5, Rule 113, Rules of Court, a long existing law, and
which, for stress, are probable cause and good faith of the arresting peace officers, and,
further, on the basis of, as the records show, the actual facts and circumstances
supporting the arrests.

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DISPOSITIVE PORTION
ACCORDINGLY, the motions for reconsideration of the decision dated 9 July 1990, are
DENIED. This denial is FINAL.

DISSENTING OPINIONS

Fernan Concurrence and Dissent


- I am inclined to agree with the, majority's resolution on said motions for reconsideration except
for the legality of the warrantless arrests of petitioner Deogracias Espiritu for the crime of
inciting to sedition and petitioner Alfredo Nazareno for the crime of murder.
- I find this position to be adverse to the very essence of the resolution which sanctions
warrantless arrests provided they are made in accordance with law.
o Espiritu may not be considered as having "just committed" the crime charged. He
allegedly first uttered seditious remarks at the National Press Club in the afternoon of
November 12, 1988. The second allegedly seditious remark aforequoted was made at
around 5:00 o'clock in the same afternoon. Under these circumstances, the law
enforcement agents had time, short though it might seem, to secure a warrant for
his arrest. Espiritu's apprehension may not therefore be considered as covered by
Section 5(b) of Rule 113 which allows warrantless arrests "when an offense has in fact
just been committed." The same observation applies with greater force in the case of
Nazareno who was arrested 14 days after the commission of the crime imputed to him.
o Secondly, warrantless arrests may not be allowed if the arresting officer are not sure
what particular provision of law had been violated by the person arrested. Erroneous
perception, not to mention ineptitude among their ranks, especially if it would result in
the violation of any right of a person, may not be tolerated.
o Inciting to sedition is not a continuous crime for which the offender may be arrested
without a warrant duly issued by the proper authority. While the police should act swiftly
when a seditious statement has been uttered in view of the jeopardy it may cause the
government, speedy action should consist not in warrantless arrests but in securing
warrants for such arrests.
- On the legality of warrantless arrests of violators of the Anti-Subversion Law, it should be
underscored that anyone who undertakes such arrest must see to it that the alleged
violator is knowingly a member of a subversive organization as distinguished from a
nominal one. Thus, a subversive may be arrested even if has not committed overt act of
overthrowing the government such as bombing of government offices or assassination of
government officials provided there is probable cause to believe that he is in the roll of
members of a subversive organization. It devolves upon the accused to prove membership by
force or coercion.

Gutierrez Concurrence and Dissent


- If we allow public speakers to be picked up simply because what they say is irritating or
obnoxious to the ears of a peace officer or critical of government policy and action, we will

14
undermine all pronouncements of this Court on the need to protect that
matrix of all freedoms, which is freedom of expression. At the very least, a warrant of arrest
after a preliminary examination by a Judge is essential in this type of offense.
- To base warrantless arrests on the doctrine of continuing offense is to give a license for
the illegal detention of persons on pure suspicion.
- If a court has convicted an accused of rebellion and he is found roaming around, he may be
arrested. But until a person is proved guilty, I fail to see how anybody can jump to a
personal conclusion that the suspect is indeed a rebel and must be picked up on sight
whenever seen. The grant of authority in the majority opinion is too broad. If warrantless
searches are to be validated, it should be Congress and not this Court which should draw strict
and narrow standards.

Cruz Separate Opinion:


- I must again express may dissent to the continued observance of Garcia-Padilla vs. Enrile to
justify the warrantless arrest and detention of the other petitioners on the ground that they
were apprehended for the continuing offenses of rebellion and other allied crimes.
o The treatment suggested envisions an actual state of war and is justified only when a
recognition of belligerency is accorded by the legitimate government to the rebels,
resulting in the application of the laws of war in the regulation of their relations. The
rebels are then considered alien enemies-to be treated as prisoners of war when
captured-and cannot invoke the municipal law of the legitimate government they have
disowned.
o But as long as that recognition has not yet been extended, the legitimate
government must treat the rebels as its citizens, subject to its municipal law and
entitled to all the rights provided thereunder, including and especially those
guaranteed by the Constitution. Principal among these in our country are
whose embodied in the Bill of Rights, particularly those guaranteeing due process,
prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures, allowing bail, and presuming the
innocence of the accused.
o The beginning of the "continuing offense" may be arbitrarily fixed by the
authorities, usually by simply placing the suspect "under surveillance," to lay the
basis for his eventual apprehension. Once so placed, he may at any time be arrested
without warrant on the specious pretext that he is in the process of committing the
"continuing offense," no matter that what he may be actually doing at the time is a
perfectly innocent act.

Feliciano Concurrence and Dissent


- An examination of the "continuing crimes" doctrine as actually found in our case law offers no
reasonable basis for such use of the doctrine. More specifically, that doctrine, in my
submission, does not dispense with the requirement that overt acts recognizably criminal in
character must take place in the presence of the arresting officer, or must have just been
committed when the arresting officer arrived, if the warrantless arrest it to be lawful. The
"continuing crimes" doctrine in our case law (before rendition of Garcia-Padilla vs. Enrile) does

15
not sustain warrantless arrests of person to be arrested is, as it were,
merely resting in between specific lawless and commit the moment he gets an opportunity to
do so.
- The doctrine of "continuing crimes," which has its own legitimate function to serve in
our criminal law jurisprudence, cannot be invoked for weakening and dissolving the
constitutional guarantee against warrantless arrest. Where no overt acts comprising all or
some of the elements of the offense charged are shown to have been committed by the person
arrested without warrant, the "continuing crime" doctrine should not be used to dress up the
pretense that a crime, begun or committed elsewhere, continued to be committed by the
person arrested in the presence of the arresting officer. The capacity for mischief of such a
utilization of the "continuing crimes" doctrine, is infinitely increased where the crime charged
does not consist of unambiguous criminal acts with a definite beginning and end in time and
space (such as the killing or wounding of a person or kidnapping and illegal detention or arson)
but rather of such problematic offenses as membership in or affiliation with or becoming a
member of, a subversive association or organization. For in such cases, the overt constitutive
acts may be morally neutral in themselves, and the unlawfulness of the acts a function of the
aims or objectives of the organization involved.

Sarmiento Dissent (Hes angry, and hes on a roll!)


- I find strained that majority's interpretation of "personal knowledge," as the majority would
interpret it, as no more than "actual belief or reasonable suspicion," that is, "suspicion...based
on actual facts...[and] founded on probable cause, coupled with good faith..." I submit that
personal knowledge means exactly what it says that the peace officer is aware that
the accused has committed an offense, in this case, membership in a subversive
organization with intent to further the objectives thereof. It is to be noted that prior to their
amendment, the Rules (then Section 6) spoke of simple "reasonable ground" which would
have arguably encompassed "actual belief or suspicion . . . coupled with good faith" referred to
by the majority. Section 5(b) as amended, however, speaks of "personal knowledge"; I
respectfully submit that to give to "personal knowledge" the same meaning as
"reasonable ground" is to make the amendment as useless exercise.
o What, furthermore, we have here was a mere "confidential information" that a "sparrow
man" had been wounded and was recuperating in the hospital, and that that person was
Rolando Dural. Clearly, what we have is second-hand, indeed, hearsay, information,
and needless to say, not personal knowledge.

Espiritu Petition
- The accused's statement is in the category of free speech is not only plain to my mind, it is a question I do not
think the majority can rightly evade in these petitions without shirking the Court's constitutional duty. It is to my
mind plain, because it does not contain enough "fighting words" recognized to be seditious. It is the very
question before the Courtwhether or not the statement in question constitutes an offense for purposes
of a warrantless arrest. It is a perfectly legal question to my mind and I am wondering why we can not answer it.
- Inciting to sedition is in no way a continuing offense, and as I said, the majority is not apparently convicted
that it is, either. Of course, the majority would anyway force the issue: "But the authority of the peace officers to
make the arrest, without warrant, at the time the words were uttered, or soon thereafter, is still another thing."
o Espiritu was picked up the following day, and in no way is "the following day" "soon thereafter".

16
o We would have stretched the authority of peace officers to make warrantless
arrests for acts done days before. I do not think this is the contemplation of the Rules of Court.

- Section 5(b) of Rule 113 is clear and categorical: the offense must have been "just committed"
and the authorities must have "personal knowledge." In no way can an offense be said to have
been "just committed" fourteen days after it was in fact (allegedly) committed. In no way can
the authorities be said to have "personal knowledge" two weeks thereafter; whatever
"personal knowledge" they have can not possibly be "personal knowledge" of a crime
that had "just been committed;" whatever "personal knowledge" they have is
necessarily "personal knowledge" of a crime committed two weeks before.
- The majority has enlarged the authority of peace officers to act, when the Rules have
purposely limited it by way of an exception, precisely, to the general rule, mandated by
the Constitution no less, that arrests may be done only through a judicial warrant.
- We are not talking of a simple "administrative measure" alonewe are talking of arrests, of
depriving people of libertyeven if we are not yet talking of whether or not people are guilty.
That we are not concerned with guilt or innocence is hardly the point, I respectfully
submit, and it will not minimize the significance of the petitioners' predicament.
- The "actual facts and circumstances" the majority refers to are, in the first place,
doubtful, the "actual facts and circumstances" being no more than "confidential
information" (manufactured or genuine, we have no way of telling) and in the second
place, any information with which the military (or police) were armed could no more
than be hearsay, not personal, information. I submit that the "actual facts and
circumstances" the majority insists on can not justify the arrests in question under Section 5(b)
of Rule 113, the rule the majority insists is the applicable rule.

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Parting Words of Justice Sarmiento

In spite of "EDSA", a climate of fear persists in the country, as incidences of


disappearances, torture, hamletting, bombings, saturation drives, and various human
rights violations increase in alarming rates. In its update for October, 1990, the Task
Force Detainees of the Philippines found:
- An average of 209 arrested for political reasons monthly since 1988, 94% of
them illegally;
- Four thousand four hundred eight (4,408) political detentions from January,
1989 to September, 1990, 4,419, illegally;
- Of those arrested, 535 showed signs of torture; 280 were eventually salvaged,
40, of frustrated salvage, and 109 remained missing after their arrest;
- Forty (40) cases of massacres, with 218 killed; 54 cases of frustrated
massacre, in which 157 were wounded;
- The victims belonged to neighborhood and union organizations;
- Since February, 1986, 532 of those illegally arrested were women;
- From January to June 1990, 361 children were detained for no apparent
reason;
- One million ten thousand four hundred nine (1,010,409) have been injured as
a consequence of bombing, shellings, and food blockades undertaken by the
military since 1988.

It is a bleak picture, and I am disturbed that this Court should express very
little concern. I am also disappointed that it is the portrait of the Court I am
soon leaving. Nonetheless, I am hopeful that despite my departure, it will not
be too late.

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