Sie sind auf Seite 1von 2

5. Esquillo v. People  PO1 Cruz arrived at the targeted.

He glanced in the direction where


G.R. No. 182010, 25 August 2010 Esquilla was standing (3 meters away from him). He saw her placing inside
Topic: Exception to the Search Warrant Requirement: Stop and frisk a yellow cigarette case in what appeared to be a small heat-sealed
Ponente: CARPIO-MORALES, J.| Author: GOJAR transparent plastic sachet containing white substance.
 Since PO1 Cruz wasn’t sure what that plastic contained, he became
SUSPICIOUS when Esquillo started acting strangely while he was
Doctrine: Generally, a search can only be made if there is a valid search warrant. A approaching her. He introduced himself as an officer & inquired what the
stop & frisk operation is an exception to this. What is essential is that a genuine plastic contained but instead of answering, Esquillo attempted to flee to
reason must exist, in light of the police officer’s experience and surrounding her house nearby.
conditions, to warrant the belief that the person who manifests unusual suspicious  PO1 Cruz was able to restrain her & asked her to take out the
conduct has weapons or contraband concealed about him. TRANSPARENT plastic sachet from the cigarette case.
 PO1 Cruz apprised Esquillo of her consti rights. PO1 Cruz then confiscated
Dual purpose of a stop & frisk practice: the plastic sachet.
1. the general interest of effective crime prevention and detection, which  Hence, a case was filed against Esquillo for violation of Sec. 11 of RA 9165
underlies the recognition that a police officer may, under appropriate (possession of shabu)
circumstances and in an appropriate manner, approach a person for  Esquillo set up the defense of frame-up, she was inside her house coz she
purposes of investigating possible criminal behavior even without probable was sick when the police officers just went inside her house asking her if
cause; (this applies in this case) she knows that notorious snatcher in the area. When she answered she
2. the more pressing interest of safety and self-preservation which permit the didn’t know him, she was allegedly forced to go to the police station
police officer to take steps to assure himself that the person with whom he where she was detained.
deals is not armed with deadly weapon that could unexpectedly and fatally  RTC: Convicted her.
be used against the police officer  Before the CA, she questioned her arrest, she alleged that this was made
without a warrant. And since there was an invalid warrantless arrest, she
alleged that the evidence obtained thereof should be inadmissible.
Emergency Recit: 2 police officers were in a specific/targeted area to conduct  CA: Affirmed RTC. Cited the case of People v Chua where it held that
surveillance there. PO1 Cruz glanced in the direction where Esquilla was standing & police officers had probable cause to search petitioner under the „stop-
saw her placing a small transparent plastic sachet inside a cigarette box. He and-frisk‰ concept, a recognized exception to the general rule prohibiting
approached Eqsquilla but he became suspicious when Esquillo started acting warrantless searches. As to the defense of frame-up, CA held that Esquillo
strangely & when asked what she placed inside the cigar box, she attempted to failed to adduce evidence that the arresting officers were impelled by any
flee. She was arrested & the plastic sachet containing the shabu was seized. evil motive to falsely charge her.
Esquilla was convicted for violating RA9165 (possession of illegal drugs). She  Hence this appeal before the SC. Esquillo questioned the CA’s application
appealed before the CA & alleged that she was illegally arrested (warrantless of the stop-and-frisk principle. She alleged that:
arrest) so the shabu seized should be inadmissible. BUT the CA held that what a. PO1 Cruz failed to justify his suspicion that a crime was being
happened was a stop & frisk wherein no search warrant is needed. SC ruled it was committed because he only noticed her placing something inside a
correct for CA to apply the stop & frisk principle. In such principle, what is cigarette case, which according to her, could hardly be deemed
essential is that a genuine reason must exist, in light of the police officer’s suspicious.
experience and surrounding conditions, to warrant the belief that the person b. The stop & frisk principle can only be invoked if there were overt acts
who manifests unusual suspicious conduct has weapons or contraband concealed constituting unusual conduct that would arouse the suspicion.
about him. IN THIS CASE, the police officers were on a surveillance operation as
part of their law enforcement efforts. When PO1 Cruz saw Esquillo placing a plastic ISSUE: Was the application by the CA of the stop & frisk principle proper? YES.
sachet containing white crystalline substance into her cigarette case, it was in his
PLAIN VIEW. Given his training as a law enforcement officer, it was instinctive on HELD:
his part to be drawn to curiosity and to approach her. And when she reacted by GR: Search by law enforcers can only be made if there is a valid search warrant.
attempting to flee after the police officer introduced himself & inquired as to the
contents of the sachet, all the more pricked the police officer’s curiosity. XPN:
(1) consented searches; (2) as an incident to a lawful arrest; (3) searches of vessels
Facts: and aircraft for violation of immigration, customs, and drug laws; (4) searches of
 Based on the informant’s tip, 2 police officers (PO1 Cruzin & PO2 Aguas) moving vehicles; (5) searches of automobiles at borders or constructive borders; (6)
they proceeded to Bayanihan St. Malibay Pasay City to conduct a where the prohibited articles are in “plain view”(7) searches of buildings and
surveillance on the activities of the alleged notorious snatcher operating in premises to enforce fire, sanitary, and building regulations; and (8) “stop & frisk”
the area/ operations.
Where a warrant is not necessary to effect a valid search or seizure, the  HERE, Esquillo seeks exculpation by adopting 2 completely inconsistent or
determination of what constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable search or seizure is incompatible lines of defense:
purely a judicial question, taking into account, among other things, the uniqueness a. She argues that the stop-and-frisk search upon her person and personal
of the circumstances involved including the purpose of the search or seizure, the effects was unjustified as it constituted a warrantless search in violation of
presence or absence of probable cause, the manner in which the search and seizure the Constitution.
was made, the place or thing searched, and the character of the articles procured. b. She also denies culpability by holding fast to her version that she was at
home resting on the date in question and had been forcibly dragged out of
SC cited People v Chua case, “„. . . the act of a police officer to stop a citizen on the street, the house by the police operatives and brought to the police station, for no
interrogate him, and pat him for weapon(s) or contraband. The police officer should properly apparent reason than to try and extort money from her. And her 2
introduce himself and make initial inquiries, approach and restrain a person who manifests witnesses (her daughter & her friend) who were allegedly present when
unusual and suspicious conduct, in order to check the latter’s outer clothing for possibly
concealed weapons. The apprehending police officer must have a genuine reason, in
she was arrested didn’t even report such incident.
accordance with the police officer’s experience and the surrounding conditions, to warrant
the belief that the person to be held has weapons (or contraband) concealed about him. It  SC: Tend to look w/ disfavor on the defense of the accused that there was
should therefore be emphasized that a search and seizure should precede the arrest for this a frame up (alibi). For this to prosper, the accused must clearly overcome
principle to apply.” the presumption of regularity of official acts of government officials. Here,
 Hence, what is essential is that a genuine reason must exist, in light of she failed to do so.
the police officer’s experience and surrounding conditions, to warrant
the belief that the person who manifests unusual suspicious conduct has As to the failure on the accused’s part to raise the issue of warrantless arrest:
weapons or contraband concealed about him.
Rule: Where the accused only raised the issue of warrantless arrest as well as the
Dual purpose of a stop & frisk practice: inadmissibility of evidence acquired on the occasion thereof for the first time only
1. the general interest of effective crime prevention and detection, which on appeal, she is deemed to have waived any objections on the legality of her
underlies the recognition that a police officer may, under appropriate arrest
circumstances and in an appropriate manner, approach a person for
purposes of investigating possible criminal behavior even without probable  HERE, Esquillo didn’t question early on her warrantless arrest before her
cause; (this applies in this case) arraignment. She didn’t even take steps to quash the Information on such
2. the more pressing interest of safety and self-preservation which permit the ground. She only raised the legality of her arrest during appeal before the
police officer to take steps to assure himself that the person with whom he CA. Hence, she is deemed to have waived any objections on the legality of
deals is not armed with deadly weapon that could unexpectedly and fatally her arrest.
be used against the police officer

In this case, there was a valid stop & frisk operation. The circumstances under
which Esquillo was arrested engender the belief that a search on her was
warranted. Here, the police officers were on a surveillance operation as part of
their law enforcement efforts. When PO1 Cruz saw Esquillo placing a plastic sachet
containing white crystalline substance into her cigarette case, it was in his PLAIN
VIEW.
 Given his training as a law enforcement officer, it was instinctive on his
part to be drawn to curiosity and to approach her. And when she reacted
by attempting to flee after the police officer introduced himself & inquired
as to the contents of the sachet, all the more pricked the police officer’s
curiosity.

As to the admission of Esquillo of the genuiness & due execution of the toxicology
reports:
 While those admissions do not necessarily control in determining the
validity of a warrantless search or seizure, but those admission provide a
reasonable gauge by which the accused’s credibility as a witness can be
measure or her defense tested.