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Republic of the Philippines

Department of Justice
NATIONAL PROSECUTION SERVICE
Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,


Plaintiff,

- versus - Criminal Case No. 0718-A


For: THEFT

RAFAEL RODRIQUEZ y JIRESSANO


and RONNIE YECLA y YECLA,
Accused.
x ---------------------------------------------- x

MOTION FOR ISSUANCE OF ORDER


TO RELEASE SEIZED PROPERTY

“ Whenever police act illegally - whatever their purpose -


our society suffers. Even if the tasks of the police are made
somewhat more difficult by adherence to lawful procedures, it
would be a small price to pay for the preservation of individual
liberty. If it is conceded that law enforcement is not as effective
as it could be, it is fallacious to argue that it would necessarily
be improved if short cut methods were approved.” —Associate
Justice Lucas Bersamin1

The ACCUSED Ronnie Yecla, through the undersigned


counsel, most respectfully moves for the issuance of an Order
to Release of the motorized tricycle wrongfully seized by the
PNP Kalibo police on August 28, 2014, based on the following
considerations:

1) The property seized belongs to a third person not


involved in, much less liable for the above-captioned
case, in violation of the second paragraph of Article 45,
Revised Penal Code;

2) The property was seized neither by virtue of a valid


search warrant, nor as an incident to a lawful
warrantless arrest;

1
Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin in G.R. No. 182010, Esquillo V. People of the Philippines
3) The procedure for seizure or confiscation of property
was not properly observed;

4) There is no necessity for the property to be taken in


custody of court or the police since it is not listed as
evidence in the case, per Information filed in this case;
and

5) The continued unfounded custody of the property by


the police violates its possessor and the owner’s right to
property and right against unreasonable searches and
seizures.

The Premises

1. The seized property is a motorized tricycle owned by


and registered in the name of Adove A. Dalida Sr.2 but was in
the lawful possession of accused Ronnie Yecla which he used
as means of livelihood. The object of the case is two sacks of
cement allegedly stolen by accused Rafael Rodriguez who was
a checker of Ang Pue Hardware in charge of taking out the
ordered items from the stockroom, and Ronnie Yecla who was
in charge of the delivery of orders to customers.

1.2. On August 28, 2014 at 9AM, accused Ronnie Yecla


was to deliver 20 sacks of cement using the subject motorized
tricycle but instead he loaded 22 sacks released from the
stockroom. The security guard of Ang Pue discovered the
excess before Yecla could leave the premises.

1.3. The incident was reported to the Kalibo PNP and the
police arrested and detained the two accused. The fact that
22 sacks were loaded in the tricycle was not denied. The
accused claimed that a miscounting happened.

1.4. After 5 days of detention, on September 2, 2014,


accused Yecla was released on bail. That was when he
learned that the tricycle was seized. He did not know the
circumstances of the seizure. The Certification on record
executed by PO3 Ephraem Pura who received the tricycle
shows that the seizure happened several hours after the arrest

2
(Copy of the O.R. and C.R. of the motorized tricycle is hereto attached as
Annex “1”).
at 4PM on August 28, 2014. Since then, the tricycle has been
detained at Kalibo PNP.

1.5. No receipt of property seized was given to the


accused or any of his family. The seized item was not
inventoried. PO3 Pura who executed the Certification was not
present during said seizure.

Discussion

2. The seizure was done in


violation of Article 45 of the
Revised Penal Code.

2.1. Second paragraph of Article 45 provides:

“Such proceeds and instruments or tools shall


be confiscated and forfeited in favor of the
Government, unless they be property of a third
person not liable for the offense...xxx” (underscoring
added)

2.2. The motorized tricycle seized is owned and


registered in the name of Adove A. Dalida Sr.3 Said owner is
not in any way involved in the case, much less liable for the
offense charged. Hence, his tricycle is exempt from seizure.
Moreover, the motor vehicle is not a mala in se article that
would justify seizure thereof.

3. The property was seized


neither by virtue of a valid
search warrant, nor as an
incident of a warrantless arrest.

3.1. There was no search warrant or warrant of arrest


issued against the accused. A warrantless arrest of the accused
was made allegedly in flagrante delicto. The seizure of the
tricycle, however, was not done on the occasion of the
warrantless arrest but several hours afterwards as indicated in
the Certification of PO3 Pura.

3
(Copy of the O.R. and C.R. of the motorized tricycle is hereto attached as
Annex “1”).
4. The procedure for seizure
of property was not observed.

4.1. No receipt for property seized was issued by the


confiscating officers. No proper inventory of the seized property
was made by them. Consequently, they also failed to secure a
Certification of Orderly Search from the owner or custodian of
the property. Moreover, PO3 Ephraem S. Pura Jr. who executed
a Certification in relation to the seizure was not present during
the seizure.

5. The property seized is not


listed as evidence in the case.

5.1. Objects which are not illegal per se which may be


used as evidence in a case are kept in the custody of the
Court to preserve its condition and to secure its presentation
when necessary. In this case, the seized tricycle does not need
to be presented in court as evidence nor is there anything in its
condition that needs to be preserved through confiscation.

5.2. The Information filed in this case made no mention of


the seized tricycle as evidence. In fact, the presentation of the
tricycle is immaterial to the case because the object allegedly
stolen is cement, not the tricycle itself. If the purpose was to
show how the bags were arranged in the tricycle to conceal
the excess, it is no longer possible as they were already
unloaded. They should have been photographed before the
unloading.

6. Accused is deprived of
his Constitutional rights to
possession of property and
against unreasonable searches
and seizures.

6.1. The legal concept of Multi-Factor Balancing Test


requires officers to weigh the manner and intensity of the
interference to the right of the people, the gravity of the
crime committed, and the circumstances attending the
incident. The right to property of a person must be given more
weight under the circumstances of this case.
6.2. As the rules and procedures for the seizure of property
were not properly observed by the confiscating officer, there
has been an impairment of the constitutional rights against
unreasonable searches and seizures not only of the accused
but also of the owner of the seized tricycle.

WHEREFORE, it is most respectfully prayed of the


Honorable Court that an Order be issued forthwith to release
the subject tricycle to the accused Ronnie Yecla to curtail the
continuing oppressive violation of his rights.

Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines, October 28, 2014.

INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES


(Counsel for Accused Ronnie Yecla)

By:
ROWENA MAE N. MENCIAS
IBP-Aklan, Godofredo P. Ramos Hall
of Justice, Kalibo, Aklan;
PTR No. 4310038, Kalibo, Aklan,
May 12, 2014;
IBP No. 968800, Apr. 23, 2014;
Roll No. 62828,
MCLE Compliance Exempt

NOTICE OF HEARING

The Clerk of Court


Municipal Trial Court
Kalibo Aklan

Office of the Provincial Prosecutor


Kalibo, Aklan

Greetings: Please take notice that the foregoing Motion shall be


submitted for the consideration and approval of the Honorable Court
immediately upon receipt thereof or as soon as counsel and matter may
be heard by the Honorable Court.

Rowena Mae N. Mencias


Counsel for Accused Ronnie Yecla

COPY FURNISHED:
Office of the Provincial Prosecutor
Kalibo, Aklan