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G.R. No.

90640 March 29, 1994 (2) admitting confessions extracted admitted ownership of the carton
from the accused after two hours of (Exhibit "B") containing [four] 4 paper-
interrogation conducted by four (4) wrapped packages of dried marijuana.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
soldiers one after the other under (Exhibits "B-1", "B-2", "B-3" and "B-4").
vs.
intimidating circumstances; and
BONIFACIO BARROS, accused-appellant.
. . . [A]fter he was orally investigated,
(3) misappreciation of facts. 3 [the accused] was brought to the
The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Abatan General Hospital, Bauko,
Mountain Province, for physical
The relevant facts as found by the trial court and as set
Bartolome F. Macliing for accused-appellant. examination and a Medico Legal
forth in the court's decision are as follows:
Certificate was issued (Exhibits "F" and
"F-1"), indicating that accused suffered
That on September 6, 1987, M/Sgt. no physical injuries and that accused
Francis Yag-as and S/Sgt. James Ayan, was probably under the influence of
FELICIANO, J.: both members of the P.C. Mountain marijuana. That Dra. Danna Aleta
Province Command, rode the Dangwa inquired from accused Bonifacio Barros
Bus bearing Plate No. ABZ-242 bound if he smoked marijuana and accused
Bonifacio Barros was charged with violating Section 4 of
for Sabangan, Mountain Province. Upon admitted having smoked marijuana.
R.A. No. 6425, as amended (known as the Dangerous Drugs
reaching Chackchakan, Bontoc, That after accused was medically
Act of 1972), in an information which read as follows:
Mountain Province, the bus stopped and examined, he was escorted by three
both M/Sgt. Yag-as and S/Sgt. Ayan, members of the P.C. to the P.C.
That on or about September 6, 1987, who were seated at the back, saw detachment at Tadian, Mountain
from Chackchakan, Bontoc, Mountain accused carrying a carton, board the Province, where the carton of
Province, to Nacagang, Sabangan, bus and seated himself on seat No. 18 marijuana (Exhibit "B") was also
Mountain Province, and within the after putting the carton under his seat. brought. That at Tadian, a seizure
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, Thereafter, the bus continued and upon receipt was made together with a
the above-named accused while being a reaching Sabangan, M/Sgt. Yag-as and certification (Exhibit "C") pointing out
passenger in a Dangwa Bus with Plate S/Sgt. Ayan before they alighted, it to the fact that approximately 4 kilos
No. ABZ 242, destined for Baguio City, being their station, called C2C of dried marijuana leaves were from
without lawful authority did then and [Fernando] Bongyao to inspect the accused Bonifacio Barros and which
there willfully, unlawfully and carton under seat No. 18. After C2C certification was signed by the accused
feloniously carry with him as part of his Bongyao inspected the carton, he found (Exhibit "C-1") and subscribed before
baggage and transport about four (4) out that it contained marijuana and he Judge Romualdo P. Awisan (Exhibit "C-
kilos of dried marijuana which the asked the passengers [who] the owner 2"). That in connection with the
accused intended for distribution and of the carton [was] but nobody confiscation of the marijuana subject
sale at Baguio City, knowing fully well answered. Thereafter, C2C Bongyao of the instant case and the
that said marijuana is a prohibited drug alighted with the carton and S/Sgt. apprehension of accused Bonifacio
or [a] source of [a] prohibited drug. Ayan and C2C Bongyao invited the Barros, the P.C. officers who figured in
herein accused to the detachment for this case namely M/Sgt. Yag-as and
1 questioning as accused was the S/Sgt. Ayan and C2C Bongyao have
Contrary to law.
suspected owner of the carton correspondingly executed their sworn
containing marijuana. As both P.C. statements (Exhibits "A", "A-1", "A-2",
After trial, the trial court convicted Bonifacio Barros of officers Yag-as and Ayan saw accused, "D", "D-1", "D-2").
violation of Section 4 of R.A. No. 6425 as amended and Bonifacio Barros carrying that same
sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion carton when he boarded the bus at
. . . [S]amples of the marijuana were
perpetua 2 and to pay a fine of P20,000.00. Chackchakan. That upon entering the
taken from each of the four packages
detachment the carton was opened in
marked Exhibits "B-1", "B-2", "B-3", and
the presence of accused and accused
Barros now appeals from the judgment of conviction and "B-4" and placed in four separate
Bonifacio Barros was asked if he owned
essentially asks this Court to determine envelopes, following an order of the
the carton of marijuana and accused
court to that effect and were hand-
denied [this]. That when accused
carried by Police Officer Jack Masilian
Whether the [trial] court deprived [the] denied ownership of the carton of
to Camp Dangwa, La Trinidad, Benguet
accused of his right to due process by: marijuana, the P.C. officers called for
for laboratory test. That Capt. Carlos
the bus conductor who pinpointed to
Figueroa, the Forensic Expert
Bonifacio Barros as the owner of the
(1) ignoring manifest absence of the conducted two kinds of test on the four
carton of marijuana. That during the
mandatory warrant in the arrest and samples sent by the court and found
oral investigation of accused, he finally
search of the accused; them to be positive of marijuana as per
his report No. D-011-88. (Exhibits "I" ownership of the carton of marijuana offense charged; those bases did not include the alleged
and "I-1"). 4 but he refused. confessions:

The defense of the accused on the facts consisted of a . . . [A]t 11:00 o'clock that same day, First M/Sgt. Francis Yag-as and S/Sgt.
simple denial of the ownership or possession of the carton September 6, 1987, three soldiers James Ayan testified that they saw the
box containing the four (4) kilos of marijuana. The trial escorted accused to the hospital and accused carrying the carton (Exhibit
court summarized the story of the accused in the following from the hospital, they proceeded to "B") when he boarded the bus at
manner: the Municipality of Tadian, Mountain Chackchakan, Bontoc, Mountain
Province. That upon reaching Tadian, Province. That the bus conductor
accused was brought to the P.C. Camp pointed to accused at the checkpoint of
That accused Bonifacio Barros since
and there he saw someone typing. Sabangan, Mountain Province. That
1984 was employed at the Honeymoon
Later, the soldiers allegedly presented accused is the owner of the carton
Disco Pad, Baguio City. That on
to accused some papers which he was (Exhibit "B"). That the carton (Exhibit
September 5, 1987, accused was sent
asked to sign but accused refused. That "B") which contained four packages of
by his Manager, Engineer Arsenio
accused was threatened and if he dried marijuana leaves (Exhibits "B-1",
Cuanguey to Bontoc, Mountain
refused to sign the papers that "B-2", "B-3" and "B-4") was fished out
Province, to get their records from one
something will happen to him. That from under the seat of the accused
Billy Cuanguey at Chackchakan, Bontoc,
moments later, accused was which fact was admitted by the
Mountain Province. That upon arriving
threatened [by] a soldier [who] pointed accused himself.
at Chackchakan, Bontoc, Mountain
a gun to him and told him to sign the
Province, accused looked for the
paper and because of fear, he had to
residence of Billy Cuanguey and he was Second That per testimony of Dra.
sign the document marked Exhibit "C."
pointed to a house where someone was Danna Aleta, she examined accused
Thereafter, the soldiers allegedly
tending a store. That accused asked the Bonifacio Barros and that he suffered
threatened again accused and asked
man if Billy Cuanguey was there and no physical injuries that would show
him to sign his name on the inside part
the man answered that he did not know that the accused was in anyway
of the cover of the carton of
where Billy went. So accused asked the maltreated by the police authorities,
marijuana. Exhibit "X" for the court and
man if Billy left [in] his room the tapes and this fact was also admitted by
Exhibit "B-5" for the prosecution. That
and records and the man said he did accused to the effect that he was never
after staying at Tadian for one night,
not know. Thereafter, accused asked harmed by the police nor the soldiers.
accused was brought back to Sabangan
the man to stay over night in that Dra. Aleta also found that the accused
and later transferred to the Bontoc
house where Billy was staying as it was was under the influence of drug[s] and
Provincial Jail. 5
the instruction of his manager. That that the accused admitted [to] her that
the following day, September 6, 1987, he, accused, smoked marijuana. This is
after taking breakfast, accused, was Turning to the legal defenses of the accused, we consider clear evidence that accused is not only
going back to Baguio. On that morning first his allegation that the police authorities had a pusher of marijuana but also a user of
of September 6, 1987, accused impermissibly extracted confessions from him after two (2) said prohibited drugs. (See Exhibits "F"
Bonifacio Barros boarded the Dangwa hours of interrogation, "under intimidating circumstances," and "F-1" and TSN Page 24
Bus at Chackchakan, Bontoc, Mountain by four (4) soldiers one after the other. The accused Orpecio).
Province bound for Baguio City. That complains that he was not informed of his rights to remain
when the Dangwa Bus reached the P.C. silent and to counsel, that he had not waived his rights as
Third The samples taken from
Checkpoint, soldiers went inside the an accused person, and that he had signed a confession
Exhibits "B-1", "B-2", "B-3" and "B-4"
bus and checked the baggages. That a involuntarily and without the assistance of counsel. He
sent by the court for laboratory test at
soldier fished out a carton under the essentially contends that the confession is inadmissible as
Camp Dangwa, La Trinidad, Benguet
seat of [the] accused and shouted who evidence against him.
were all positive of marijuana per
owns the carton but nobody answered.
Report No. D-011-88 (Exhibits "I" and "I-
Thereafter, the soldier went down with
We find, however, that it is not necessary to pass upon the 1") of Captain Carlos Figueroa,
the carton and moments later returned
above contention of appellant Barros. For the trial court in forensical expert.
to the bus and called accused Bonifacio
reaching its judgment of conviction had not taken into
Barros to alight from the bus. That Mr.
consideration the statements which had been obtained
Barros was surprised why he was Lastly, accused's testimony in his own
from the appellant during the interrogation conducted by
ordered to alight and accused took his behalf does not impress the court at it
the police officers. The trial court, so far as can be
baggage which consisted of lacks the ring of truth. Besides, it is
determined from its decision, totally disregarded Exhibits
a pasiking and went down the bus. That devoid of any corroboration. Our
"C", "E" and "B-5," the alleged uncounselled confessions.
accused was led by the soldiers to a Supreme Court in this respect said:
The trial court made very clear the bases of its conclusion
house where his pasiking was taken and
that the accused was guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
his clothes removed and his wallet
taken. Accused was made to accept
The weak and uncorroborated denial of carrying out warrantless searches of moving vehicles, In the case at bar, however, we have been unable to find in
the accused cannot prevail over the however, peace officers are limited to routine checks, that the record of this case any circumstance which constituted
clear, positive and straightforward is, the vehicles are neither really searched nor their or could have reasonably constituted probable cause for
testimony of prosecution witnesses occupants subjected to physical or body searches, the the peace officers to search the carton box allegedly
[sic]." (People vs. Acelajao, 148 SCRA examination of the vehicles being limited to visual owned by appellant Barros. The carrying of such a box by
142)." 6 inspection. In Valmonte vs. De Villa, 11 the Court stated: appellant onto a passenger bus could not, by itself, have
convinced M/Sgt. Francis Yag-as and S/Sgt. James Ayan
either that the appellant was a law violator or the contents
We turn, therefore, to the second legal defense asserted by [N]ot all searches and seizures are
of the box were instruments or the subject matter or
appellant Barros i.e., that his constitutional right against prohibited. Those which are reasonable
proceeds of some criminal offense. The carrying of carton
unreasonable searches and seizures had been violated by are not forbidden. A reasonable search
boxes is a common practice among our people, especially
the police authorities. The relevant constitutional is not to be determined by any fixed
those coming from the rural areas since such boxes
provisions are found in Sections 2 and 3 [2], Article III of formula but is to be resolved according
constitute the most economical kind of luggage possible.
the 1987 Constitution which read as follows: to the facts of each case.
The peace officers here involved had not received any
information or "tip-off" from an informer; no such a "tip-
Sec. 2. The right of the people to be Where, for example, the officer merely off" was alleged by the police officers before or during the
secure in their persons, houses, papers draws aside the curtain of a vacant trial. The police officers also did not contend that they had
and effects against unreasonable vehicle which is parked on the public detected the odor of dried marijuana, or appellant Barros
searches and seizures of whatever fair grounds, or simply looks into a had acted suspiciously in the course of boarding the bus
nature and for any purpose shall be vehicle, or flashes a light therein, and taking a seat during the trip to Sabangan, nor in the
inviolable, and no search warrant or these do not constitute unreasonable course of being asked whether he owned the carton box
warrant of arrest shall issue except search. (Citations omitted) later ascertained to contain four (4) kilos of marijuana. The
upon probable cause to be determined testimony of the law enforcement officers who had
personally by the judge after apprehended the accused (M/Sgt. Francis Yag-as and S/Sgt.
When, however, a vehicle is stopped and subjected to an
examination under oath or affirmation James Ayan), and who had searched the box in his
extensive search, such a warrantless search would be
of the complainant and the witness as possession, (C2C Fernando Bongyao), simply did not suggest
constitutionally permissible only if the officers conducting
he may produce, and particularly or indicate the presence of any such probable cause.
the search have reasonable or probable cause to believe,
describing the place to be searched and
before the search, that either the motorist is a law-
the persons or things to be seized.
offender or the contents or cargo of the vehicle are or have M/Sgt. Francis Yag-as testified as
been instruments or the subject matter or the proceeds of follows:
Sec. 3. . . . some criminal offense. 12
Direct Examination by Fiscal Moises
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation This Court has in the past found probable cause to conduct Ayochok:
of this or the preceding section shall be without a judicial warrant an extensive search of moving
inadmissible for any purpose in any vehicles in situations where (1) there had emanated from a
xxx xxx xxx
proceeding. package the distinctive smell of marijuana; 13(2) agents of
the Narcotics Command ("Narcom") of the Philippine
National Police ("PNP") had received a confidential report Q: On September 6, 1987, do you recall if you reported for
The general rule is that a search and seizure must be
from informers that a sizeable volume of marijuana would duty?
carried out through or with a judicial warrant; otherwise
be transported along the route where the search was
such search and seizure becomes "unreasonable" within the
conducted; 14 (3) Narcom agents were informed or "tipped
meaning of the above quoted constitutional A: Yes, sir.
off" by an undercover "deep penetration" agent that
provision. 7 The evidence secured thereby i.e., the
prohibited drugs be brought into the country on a
"fruits" of the search and seizure will be inadmissible in
particular airline flight on a given date; 15 (4) Narcom Q: And where did you go on the morning of September 6,
evidence "for any purpose in any
agents had received information that a Caucasian coming 1987?
proceeding. 8
from Sagada, Mountain Province, had in his possession
prohibited drugs and when the Narcom agents confronted
A: I went to Sabangan, sir.
The requirement that a judicial warrant must be obtained the accused Caucasian, because of a conspicuous bulge in
prior to the carrying out of a search and seizure is, his waistline, he failed to present his passport and other
however, not absolute. There are certain exceptions identification papers when requested to do Q: What transportation did you use?
recognized in our law, one of which relates to the search of so; 16 and (5) Narcom agents had received confidential
moving vehicles. 9 Peace officers may lawfully conduct information that a woman having the same physical
A: Dangwa Bus with Plate No. ABZ-242.
searches of moving vehicles automobiles, trucks, etc. appearance as that of the accused would be transporting
without need of a warrant, it not being practicable to marijuana. 17
secure a judicial warrant before searching a vehicle, since Q: Where did you board the Dangwa Bus?
such vehicle can be quickly moved out of the locality or
jurisdiction in which the warrant may be sought. 10 In
A: At the Dangwa Terminal at Bontoc. Fiscal Ayochok: xxx xxx xxx 18

Q: When you said you boarded the bus with Plate No. ABZ- We substitute the For his part, S/Sgt.
242 which started for Baguio City from Bontoc, Mountain words inspection James Ayan
Province, and while it stopped at Chackchakan, Bontoc, with checkpoint to testified as follows:
Mountain Province, was there anything that happened? satisfy the
objection of
Direct Examination:
counsel.
xxx xxx xxx
xxx xxx xxx
Q: What happened
A: When the bus stopped at Sitio Chackchakan, we saw a
when you stopped
person carrying a baggage or carton and boarded the bus
for the routinary Q: And in the
then took his seat, seat No. 18.
inspection? morning of
September 6, 1987,
Q: What was he carrying that time Mr. witness? do you recall where
A: We called C2C
you were
Bongyao a member
particularly in the
A: A carton. of the detachment
afternoon?
to inspect the
baggage of the
Q: And where did he place that carton which he was
suspect and when A: In the morning
carrying?
C2C . of September 6,
1987, we rode on a
A: In front of seat No. 18 where he sat. Dangwa bus [with
Atty. Sokoken:
Plate] No. ABZ-242
going to Sabangan.
Q: You mean inside the bus?
We request that
[the] witness
Q: You said we.
A: Yes. answers the
Who was your
question that he
companion that
testifies [to] not in
Q: And after this person boarded the bus at sitio time?
the narrative way.
Chackchakan and holding a carton and placed it in front of
seat No. 18, what happened to the bus afterwards?
A: Master Sgt. Yag-
Fiscal Ayochok:
as, sir.
A: It proceeded to Sabangan.
He is answering the
Q: And when this
question.
Q: And at Sabangan, Mountain Province, what happened, if bus reached
any? Chackchakan,
Court: Bontoc, Mountain
Province, what did
A: The bus stopped for the routinary checkpoint and
you see?
inspection. Let the witness
finish.
A: We saw a civilian
Q: When they [were at] the routinary checkpoint, what
board the bus we
happened? A: When Bongyao
were riding
inspected the
carrying a carton.
baggage of the
Atty. Sokoken:
suspect and he
found out that it Q: And where did this civilian who boarded the bus which
He did not say contained MJ. you were riding on place that carton?
routinary
checkpoint. He said
Q: What do you A: He placed the carton under the seat of No. 18.
routinary
mean MJ?
inspection.
Q: Inside the bus, Mr. witness?
A: Marijuana.
A: Inside the bus, sir. A: Routinary inspection, sir. The testimony of C2C Fernando Bongyao is much briefer,
but equally uninformative:
Q: And what about the passenger who boarded the bus Q: But it was not you who entered the Dangwa bus for
carrying the carton baggage, where did he go? routinary check-up? Direct Examination:

A: He sat facing the seat No. 18. A: We were there riding in the bus, sir, and we called C2C Q: On September 6, 1987, at around 9:30 a.m., do you
Bongyao to come. recall having reported for duty at Nacagang, Sabangan,
Mountain Province?
Q: Between seat No. 18 and the seat seated by the civilian
who brought the carton, where was the carton exactly Q: So your purpose in riding inside the Dangwa bus was
located? actually to see that person carrying this carton which is A: Yes, sir.
marked Exhibit "B"?
A: As far as I know, sir, it was located just beneath seat Q: And while you were on duty at Nacagang, Sabangan, was
No. 18. A: No, sir, because I am a detachment commander at there anything unusual that happened that time?
Sabangan and that is why I called one of my men, sir.
Q: When this bus which you rode on which the passenger A: Yes, sir.
carrying the carton luggage you saw reached Sabangan Q: So that you have full knowledge that from Chackchakan,
what happened there? Bontoc, going to Sabangan, there is already marijuana
Q: What was that Mr. witness?
being carried inside that bus?
A: When the bus reached Sabangan that we were riding, it
A: When we were on the checkpoint, the bus stopped
was stopped for routinary inspection. A: That is only our suspect [should be suspicion], sir.
bearing Plate No. ABZ-242.

Q: What happened next? Q: Would you please tell this Honorable Court why you have
Q: When the bus stopped, what did you do?
not inspected it when you arrived at Alab? Why have you
waited to reach Sabangan to inspect it?
A: We called C2C Bongyao to inspect the baggage that we
A: While on my way to check the bus, Master Sergeant Yag-
have just seen at Chackchakan.
as and Ayan called for me, sir, and they told me that a
A: Because it is the checkpoint, sir, at Nacagang,
carton was placed under seat No. 18, sir.
Sabangan.
Q: Did he inspect the baggage?
Q: And when you were told to inspect that carton under
Q: Are you now admitting that you do not have authority to
A: Yes, sir. seat No. 18, did you inspect that carton?
inspect the baggage here in Bontoc?

Q: And what was the contents of that baggage if there was A: I inspected it, sir.
A: We just wanted it checked in Sabangan, sir.
any?
Q: You said you inspected that carton, what did you do in
Q: Could you give us a very special reason why you have to
A: It turned out that the contents of the baggage was MJ inspecting that carton?
wait in Sabangan?
sir.
A: I inserted my hand inside and when I removed my hand,
A: Because we are stationed in Sabangan and that is the
Q: You mean marijuana? it was a stuff of marijuana, sir.
checkpoint.

A: Yes, sir. xxx xxx xxx 20


Fiscal Ayochok:

xxx xxx xxx So far as the record itself is concerned, therefore, it would
Why argue with the witness? It is up for them to check it at
appear that there existed no circumstance which might
the proper checkpoint.
reasonably have excited the suspicion of the two (2) police
Cross Examination:
officers riding in the same bus as appellant Barros. They
Court: asked the police officers at the checkpoint at Sabangan to
xxx xxx xxx inspect the box allegedly carried by appellant Barros
apparently on a mere guess that appellant Barros might be
Sustained.
carrying something in the nature of contraband goods.
Q: You stated that on September 6, 1987, a Dangwa bus
There was, in other words, nothing to show that appellant
stopped at Sabangan, Mt. Province for purposes of military
xxx xxx xxx 19 Barros was then in the process of "actually committing" or
check-up, is that correct?
"attempting to commit" a crime. 21 There was, moreover, constitutionality of his detention or the failure to accord lastly, that said person had an actual
nothing on the record that could have reasonably led the him a preliminary investigation. We do not believe, intention to relinquish the right (Pasion
two (2) police officers to believe that "an offense [had] in however, that waiver of the latter (by, e.g., applying for Vda. de Garcia vs. Locsin, 65 Phil. 689).
fact just been committed" when appellant Barros boarded and posting of bail) necessarily constitutes, or carries with The fact that the accused failed to
the bus at Chackchakan or when he was asked whether he it, waiver of the former an argument that the Solicitor object to the entry into his house does
owned the box here involved at the checkpoint in General appears to be making impliedly. Waiver of the non- not amount to a permission to make a
Sabangan. The two (2) police officers, according to the admissibility of the "fruits" of an invalid warrantless arrest search therein (Magoncia vs. Palacio,
record, had no "personable knowledge of facts indicating and of a warrantless search and seizure is not casually to 80 Phil. 770). As pointed out by Justice
that the person to be arrested (appellant Barros) had be presumed, if the constitutional right against unlawful Laurel in the case of Pasion Vda. de
committed it." There was, in brief, no basis for a valid searches and seizures is to retain its vitality for the Garcia vs. Locsin (supra):
warrantless arrest. Accordingly, the search and seizure of protection of our people. In the case at bar, defense
the carton box was equally non-permissible and counsel had expressly objected on constitutional grounds to
xxx xxx xxx
invalid. 22 The "fruits" of the invalid search and seizure the admission of the carton box and the four (4) kilos of
i.e., the four (4) kilos of marijuana should therefore not marijuana when these were formally offered in evidence by
have been admitted in evidence against appellant Barros. the prosecution. 24 We consider that appellant's objection . . . As the constitutional guaranty is
to the admission of such evidence was made clearly and not dependent upon any affirmative
seasonably and that, under the circumstances, no intent to act of the citizen, the courts do not
The Solicitor General, however, contends that appellant
waive his rights under the premises can be reasonably place the citizen in the position of
Barros had waived any irregularities which may have
inferred from his conduct before or during during the trial. either contesting an officer's authority
attended his arrest. Presumably, the Solicitor General also
by force, or waiving his constitutional
argues that appellant Barros has waived the non-
rights; but instead they hold that a
admissibility of the carton (Exhibit "B") which contained In the dissenting opinion, my learned brother Melo, J. takes
peaceful submission to a search or
four (4) packages of dried marijuana leaves (Exhibits "B-1", the view that appellant Barros had waived his rights by his
seizure is not a consent or an invitation
"B-2", "B-3" and "B-4"). The Solicitor General said: "stoic deportment" consisting of failure to object to the
thereto, but is merely a demonstration
search by the police authorities immediately after the
of regard for the supremacy of the
opening of the carton box:
. . . [E]ven assuming in gratia law. (Citation omitted).
argumenti that irregularities attended
the arrest of appellant, still the same . . . In point of fact, when the police
We apply the rule that: "courts indulge
cannot be questioned at this late stage. authorities inspected the carton of
every reasonable presumption against
Well-settled is the doctrine laid down marijuana and asked accused-appellant
waiver of fundamental constitutional
in the case of Callanta vs. who owned the box, accused-appellant
rights and that we do not presume
Villanueva (77 SCRA 377), and later denied ownership of the box or carton
acquiescence in the loss of
reiterated in the more recent case and failed to even mutter the least bit
fundamental rights." (Johnson vs.
of Bagcal vs. Villaraza (120 SCRA 525), of protest (p. 3, Decision). His
Zerbts, 304 U.S. 458). 27 (Emphasis
that "posting of [a] bail bond demeanor should therefore be
supplied) .
constitutes waiver of any irregularity construed as implicit acquiescence to
attending the arrest of a person and the search inasmuch as the objection
estops him from questioning its thereto is vulnerable to express or Kagui Malasugui is not applicable to the instant case,
validity." Here, appellant had in fact implied waiver (People vs. Kagui because there the Court explicitly found that there was
posted the required bail to obtain his Malasugui (63 Phil. 221 [1936]); probable cause for the warrantless arrest of the
provisional liberty, albeit his 1 Bernas, Constitution of the Republic accused and therefore, the warrantless search effected
application was subsequently denied of the Philippines, First ed., 1987, p. immediately thereafter was equally lawful. In Kagui
(see TSN, Feb. 10, 1988, p. 65). 108). . . . . 25 Malasugui, a Chinese merchant was found lying on the
Consistent with jurisprudence, ground with several nasty wounds in the head; one resulted
therefore, he should be deemed to in skull fracture and proved fatal. He died in the hospital to
It is submitted, with respect, that Kagui Malasugui is not
have waived any irregularity attending which he had been immediately brought by a policeman.
applicable to the case at bar; rather it is People vs.
his arrest, if any there be, and cannot Mr. Malasuqui became a suspect because when the victim
Burgos, 26 promulgated fifty (50) years after Kaqui
now be heard to assail the same. 23 was found, still alive, and upon being asked who had
Malasuqui, that is applicable. In Burgos, this Court ruled
attacked him, laconically answered, "Kagui." On the same
that the accused is not to be presumed to have waived the
day, the accused Kagui Malasugui was arrested and a search
It might be supposed that the non-admissibility of evidence unlawful search conducted on the occasion of his
of his person was conducted without objection from the
secured through an invalid warrantless arrest or a warrantless arrest "simply because he failed to object"
accused. Before the body search of the accused was carried
warrantless search and seizure may be waived by an
out, the accused voluntarily surrendered to the police
accused person. The a priori argument is that the invalidity
. . . To constitute a waiver, it must authorities a couple of bracelets belonging to the deceased
of an unjustified warrantless arrest, or an arrest effected
appear first that the right exists; victim and when asked if he had anything else to surrender,
with a defective warrant of arrest may be waived by
secondly, that the person involved had he, in a trembling voice, answered in the negative. The
applying for and posting of bail for provisional liberty, so as
knowledge, actual or constructive, of police thereupon conducted a body search of the accused,
to estop as accused from questioning the legality or
the existence of such a right; and without any objection from him; the search resulted in the
production of additional personal effects belonging to the merely being marked or identified, is
deceased victim. Under these circumstances, the Court premature.
ruled that: See also Section 36 of Rule 132 of the
#Footnotes
Rules of Court.
1 Rollo, p. 8.
25 Dissenting Opinion of Melo, J., p. 2.
When one voluntarily submits to a 2 The penalty properly imposable under
26 144 SCRA 1 (1986).
search or consents to have it made of R.A. No. 6425, as amended, was life
27 144 SCRA at 16.
his person or premises, he is precluded imprisonment and not reclusion
28 144 SCRA at 16, citing Pasion Vda.
from complaining later thereof. perpetua; juridically, the former is
de Garcia, 65 Phil. 689 (1938).
(Cooley, Constitutional Limitations, 8th different from the latter.
ed., [V]ol. I, p. 631.) The right to be 3 Appellant's Brief, Rollo, pp. 37-48 at
secure from unreasonable search may, 41.
like every right, be waived and such 4 Trial Court Decision, Records, pp.
waiver may be made either expressly or 207-208.
impliedly. 5 Id., pp. 209-210.
6 Records, p. 210.
7 Pita vs. Court of Appeals, 178 SCRA
A propos my distinguished brother Melo, J.'s suggestion that
362 (1989).
the right against an unlawful warrantless search or arrest is
8 People vs. Zapanta, 195 SCRA 200
personal and may not be invoked by the accused's counsel
(1991); People v. Dendana, 190 SCRA
during trial, it is relevant to note that the law (the Rules of
538 (1990); People v. Aminnudin, 163
Court) specifies the proper time when objections to
SCRA 402 (1988).
admission of evidence must be raised and that in the case
9 People vs. Bagista, 214 SCRA 63
at bar, a timely objection was made by appellant Barros.
(1992); People v. Rodriguez, 205 SCRA
Finally, the accused's silence during the warrantless search
791 (1992); People v. Lo Ho Wing, 193
should not be lightly taken as consent to that search, but
SCRA 122 (1991); Manipon v.
rather construed as explained by the Court
Sandiganbayan, 143 SCRA 267 (1986).
in Burgos, 28 and as pointed out by Mr. Justice Laurel, a
10 People v. Bagista, supra; People v.
"demonstration of regard for the supremacy of the law."
Lo Ho Wing, supra.
11 178 SCRA 211 (1989).
It is, of course, possible that appellant Barros may in fact 12 People v. Bagista, supra; Valmonte
have been guilty of transporting the four (4) kilos of v. de Villa, 185 SCRA 665 (1990).
marijuana. His guilt must, however, be established by 13 People v. Claudio, 160 SCRA 646
constitutional means. The non-admissibility of evidence (1988).
secured through a disregard of the constitutional right of 14 People v. Maspil, 188 SCRA 751
the accused against unreasonable searches and seizures is (1990).
the sanction imposed by the Constitution for disregard of 15 People v. Lo Ho Wing, supra.
such right; the sanction is a powerful one, for it renders 16 People v. Malmstedt, 198 SCRA 401
inutile the work done by the police officers, by the (1991).
prosecutor and by the trial court. It is a sanction which this 17 People v. Bagista, supra.
Court has no choice but to apply in the instant case. 18 TSN, 10 February 1988, pp. 43-46.
19 TSN, 26 January 1988, pp. 3-13.
20 Id., pp. 19-20.
WHEREFORE, for all the foregoing, the decision of the
21 Section 5 [a], Rule 113, Rules of
Regional Trial Court, Branch 35, Bontoc, Mountain
Court.
Province, in Criminal Case No. 687 is hereby REVERSED and
22 Section 12, Rule 126, Rules of Court.
SET ASIDE and appellant is hereby ACQUITTED of the crime
23 Appellee's Brief, Rollo, pp. 62-67.
charged, the evidence lawfully before the trial court not
24 Records, p. 191; See Interpacific
being sufficient to establish his guilt thereof beyond
Transit, Inc. v. Aviles, 186 SCRA 385
reasonable doubt. No costs.
(1990) citing People v. Teodoro, 98
Phil. 569 (1956); People v. Santito, 201
SO ORDERED. SCRA 87 (1991); People v. Sayat, G.R.
Nos. 102773-77, 9 June 1993 where the
Court ruled that objection to
Bidin, Romero and Vitug, JJ., concur.
documentary evidence must be made
at the time it is formally offered as an
Melo, J., dissents. exhibit and not before. Objection prior
to that time, i.e., when documents are