Sie sind auf Seite 1von 54

NOLASCO V. CRUZ-PANO G.R. No.

L-69803October 8, 1985

FACTS:

(At 11:30 A.M. on August 6th) Aquilar-Roque and Nolasco were arrested by a


Constabulary Security Group (CSG) at the intersection of Mayon Street, Quezon City.
The record does not disclose that a warrant of arrest had previously been issued
against NOLASCO.

(At 12:00 N. on August 6th) On the same day, a searched was conducted. Ct. Col.
Virgilio Saldajeno;
(On August 6th, at around 9:00 A.M)applied for search warrant from the respondent
judge Cruz-Pano, to be served at No. 239-B Mayon Street, Quezon City, determined to
be the leased residence of AGUILAR-ROQUE, after almost a month of "round the clock
surveillance" of the premises as a "suspected underground house of the CPP/NPA."
after a month of “round the clock” surveillance of the premises as a “suspected
underground house of the CPP/NPA”,
AGUILAR-ROQUE has been long wanted by the military for being a high ranking officer
of the Communist Party of the Philippines, particularly connected with the MV
Karagatan/Doña Andrea cases.
The searching party seized 428 documents and written materials, and additionally a
portable typewriter and 2 wooden boxes.
The City Fiscal filed the information for violation of PD No. 33, Illegal Possession of
Subversive Documents.
Petitioners contend that the Search Warrant is void because it is a general warrant since
it does not sufficiently describe with particularity the things subject of the search and
seizure and that probable cause had not been properly established for lack of searching
questions propounded to the applicant’s witness.

ISSUE:

WON the search warrant is a general warrant

HELD:

YES. It is at once evident that the foregoing Search Warrant authorizes the seizure of
personal properties vaguely described and not particularized.  It is an all-embracing
description which includes everything conceivable regarding the Communist Party of the
Philippines and the National Democratic Front. It does not specify what the subversive
books and instructions are; what the manuals not otherwise available to the public
contain to make them subversive or to enable them to be used for the crime of rebellion.
There is absent a definite guideline to the searching team as to what items might be
lawfully seized thus giving the officers of the law discretion regarding what articles they
should seize as, in fact, taken also were a portable typewriter and 2 wooden boxes. It is
thus in the nature of a general warrant and infringes on the constitutional mandate
requiring the particular description of the things to be seized.

Moreover, the questions propounded by respondent Executive Judge to the applicant's


witness are not sufficiently searching to establish probable cause. The "probable cause"
required to justify the issuance of a search warrant comprehends such facts and
circumstances as will induce a cautious man to rely upon them and act in pursuant
thereof.

Out of the 10 Of the 8 questions asked, the 1st, 2nd, and 4th pertain to Identity.
The 3rd and 5th are leading not searching questions.
The 6th, 7th and 8th refer to the description of the personalities to be seized, which is
Identical to that in the Search Warrant and suffers from the same lack of particularity.

The examination conducted was general in nature and merely repetitious of the
deposition of the said witness. Mere generalization will not suffice and does not satisfy
the requirements of probable cause upon which a warrant may issue. 

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 1
PEOPLE V MUSA
FACTS:
On 14 December 1989, the accused sold 2 wrappers containing marijuana leaves to
Sgt. Amado Ani in a buy-bust operation in Zamboanga City.

The said buy-bust operation was planned since a civilian informer told that Mari Musa
was engaged in selling marijuana and therefore, a test-buy was conducted the day prior
to the said buy-bust operation. During the buy-bust operation, after Sgt. Ani handed the
money to Musa, Musa entered his house to get the wrappings. Upon his return and with
the inspection of the wrappings, Musa was arrested, but the marked money used as
payment cannot be found with him, prompting the NARCOM agents to go inside his
house. There, they could not find the marked money, but they found more marijuana
leaves hidden in a plastic bag inside the kitchen.

The leaves were confirmed as marijuana by the forensic chemist of the PC crime
laboratory, who later on served as a witness, along with T/Sgt. Jesus Belarga, the team
leader of the buy-bust operation and Sgt. Ani.

The defense gave a different version of what happened on 14 December 1989 wherein
he and his wife, Ahara Musa, served as witnesses. They said that the NARCOM agents,
dressed in civilian clothes, got inside their house since the door was open, and upon
entering, declared that they were NARCOM agents and searched the house, despite
demands of the couple for a search warrant. The agents found a red bag whose
contents were unknown to the Musas.

Musa was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the trial court.

On appeal, Musa contests that his guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt. He
also questioned the credibility of the witnesses, as well as the admissibility of the seized
plastic bag as evidence since it violates his constitutional rights against unreasonable
searches and seizures provided in Art. III, Sec. 2.

ISSUES:
1. WON Musa is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt
2. WON the seized plastic bag containing marijuana is admissible as evidence.

HELD/RATIO:
1. Yes. The testimony given by T/Sgt. Belarga only strengthened the testimony of Sgt.
Ani since it was the testimony of the latter that served as direct evidence, being enough
to prove the consummation of the sale of the prohibited drug, and that their testimonies
were not conflicting as well.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 2
2. No. Although the warrantless search done falls under Sec. 12 of Rule 126 and that
the search may include premises or surroundings under the accused’s immediate
control, it does not fall under the “Plain View” doctrine. The agents found the plastic bag
inside the kitchen, and upon asking about the contents of the bag, the accused did not
answer, making the agents open the bag and find marijuana leaves. Even if an object is
observed in "plain view," the "plain view" doctrine will not justify the seizure of the object
where the incriminating nature of the object is not apparent from the "plain view" of the
object.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 3
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. CHE CHUN TING alias
"DICK," accused-appellant.
[G.R. Nos. 130568-69. March 21, 2000]

Facts:
 Following a series of buy-bust operations, the elements of the Special Operation
Unit, Narcotics Command, apprehended a suspected drug courier, Mabel
Cheung Mei Po, after she delivered a transparent plastic bag containing a white
crystalline substance to an informant, in full view of NARCOM agents. When
questioned, Mabel Cheung Mei Po cooperated with the government agents and
revealed the name of Che Chun Ting as the source of the drugs.
 On 27 June 1996 NARCOM deployed a team of agents for the entrapment and
arrest of Che Chun Ting.
 Mabel, along with NARCOM agents, proceeded to the Roxas Seafront Garden.
Mabel honked twice upon arriving at the said place and went to Unit 122.
NARCOM agents parked 2 meters away saw the door of the unit open as a man
went out to hand Mabel a transparent plastic bag containing a white crystalline
substance. The NARCOM agents immediately alighted and arrested the
surprised man who was positively identified by Mabel as Che Chun Ting.
 Unit 122 was searched by the agents, where a black bag with several plastic
bags containing a white crystalline substance in an open cabinet in the second
floor was seized. The bag was examined in the presence of Maj. Garbo, the
accused and his girlfriend. The accused and the evidence were brought to Camp
Crame. The contents of the bank were tested and found positive for shabu. The
Defense alleged otherwise.
 He alleged that it was Noli Ortiz, the brother of Che Chun Ting’s girlfriend who
rang the doorbell of Unit 122. When Nimfa opened the door, 2 NARCOM officers
suddenly forced their way inside and searched the premises. Noli alleged that he
did not see any black bag seized but saw his sister’s video camera being carted
away by the NARCOM agents.
 Defense further contends that Unit 122 is owned by Nimfa Ortiz and that Che
Chun Ting lived at 1001 Domingo Poblete St., BF Homes, Parañaque. Che Chun
Ting was found guilty by the trial court on 22 August 1997 of delivering,
distributing and dispatching in transit 999.48 grams of shabu; and, having in his
custody, possession and control 5,578.68 grams of the same regulated drug.
 He was meted two (2) death sentences, one for violation of Sec. 15 and the other
for violation of Sec. 16, both of Art. III, of RA 6425 (The Dangerous Drugs Act of
1972, as amended). He was likewise ordered to pay a fine of P1,000,000.00 in
the first case, and P12,000,000.00 in the second. He is now before the Supreme
Court on automatic review.

Issue: WON the search of Unit 122 is within the purview of the warrantless search
incidental to an arrest.

Held: No, the court hold that the search in Unit 122 and the seizure therein of some
5,578.68 grams of shabu do not fall within the exception, hence, were illegal for being
violative of ones basic constitutional right and guarantee against unreasonable
searches and seizures.
The 1987 Constitution ordains that no arrest, search or seizure can be made without a
valid warrant issued by a competent judicial authority. The right of the people to be
secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and
seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose, shall be inviolable, and no search
warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined
personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant
and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched
and the persons or things to be seized.
The right is not absolute and admits of certain well-recognized exceptions. A person
lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be
used as proof of the commission of the offense, without a search warrant. The search
may extend beyond the person of the one arrested to include the permissible area or
surroundings within his immediate control.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 4
The lawful arrest being the sole justification for the validity of the warrantless search
under the exception, the same must be limited to and circumscribed by the subject, time
and place of the arrest. As to subject, the warrantless search is sanctioned only with
respect to the person of the suspect, and things that may be seized from him are limited
to "dangerous weapons" or "anything which may be used as proof of the commission of
the offense." With respect to the time and place of the warrantless search, it must be
contemporaneous with the lawful arrest. Stated otherwise, to be valid, the search must
have been conducted at about the time of the arrest or immediately thereafter and only
at the place where the suspect was arrested, or the premises or surroundings under his
immediate control.
Herein, although the case falls within the exception, Che Chun Ting was admittedly
outside unit 122, which was not his residence but a sojourner thereof, and in the act of
delivering to Mabel Cheung Mei Po a bag of shabu when he was arrested by the
NARCOM operatives. The inner portion of the house can hadly be said to constitute a
permissible area within his reach or immediate control, to justify a warrantless search
therein.
The search in Unit 122 and the seizure therein of some 5,578.68 grams of shabu were
illegal for being violative of one's basic constitutional right and guarantee against
unreasonable searches and seizures, and thus are inadmissible in evidence under the
exclusionary rule. The inadmissibility of such however does not totally exonerate the
accused. The illegal search in Unit 122 was preceded by a valid arrest. The accused
was caught in flagrante delicto as a result of an entrapment conducted by NARCOM
operatives on the basis of the information provided by Mabel Cheung Mei Po regarding
the accused's illegal trade. NARCOM agents P/Insp. Santiago and SPO3 Campanilla
saw him handing over a bag of white crystalline substance to Mabel Cheung Mei Po.
His arrest was lawful and the seized bag of shabu weighing 999.43 grams was
admissible in evidence, being the fruit of the crime.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 5
02Lua v. Lua
G.R. No. 175279-80 (5 June 2013)
Villarama, Jr., J. / TitaK
Subject Matter: Provisional orders; AM No. 02-11-12 SC
Summary:
Susan filed a petition against her husband, Danilo, for a declaration of nullity of
marriage with a prayer for support pendente lite. RTC granted P250k monthly support in
addition to P1.75million support in arrear. The CA however reduced the monthly support
to P115k. Based on Danilo’s understanding of the CA decision, Danilo issued a check
only in the amount of P162k in favor of Susana. He explained that the said amount is
the difference between the support in arrear and amount advanced by Danilo to Susana
and his children. On certitorari, the CA ruled that the trial court should not have
completely disregarded the expenses incurred by respondent consisting of the purchase
and maintenance of the two cars, payment of tuition fees, travel expenses, and the
credit card purchases involving groceries, dry goods and books, which certainly inured
to the benefit not only of the two children. Nonetheless, the SC did not agree with CA
because any amount to be credited as monthly support should only cover those
incurred for sustenance and household expenses.
Note that there is no controversy as to the reasonableness and sufficiency of monthly
support as both parties did not appeal the reduced monthly support of P115k which was
determined after due hearing, submission of documentary evidence, and Susan’s
testimony.
Doctrines:
Upon receipt of a verified petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage or
for annulment of voidable marriage, or for legal separation, and at any time during the
proceeding, the court, motuproprio or upon verified application of any of the parties,
guardian or designated custodian, may temporarily grant support pendenteliteprior to
the rendition of judgment or final order.
Because of its provisional nature, a court does not need to delve fully into the merits of
the case before it can settle an application for this relief. All that a court is tasked to do
is determine the kind and amount of evidence which may suffice to enable it to justly
resolve the application.
It is enough that the facts be established by affidavits or other documentary evidence
appearing in the record.
Parties:
Petitioner Susan Lim-Lua
Respondent Danilo Y. Lua
Facts:
Susan filed a petition against Danilo for a declaration of nullity of marriage with
a prayer for support pendente lite for herself and her two children amounting to
P500,000.00 per month. Citing respondent’s huge earnings from salaries and
dividends in several companies and businesses here and abroad.
After due hearing, RTC granted support pendent lite of 250,000.00. Citing Art. 203 of
the Family Code, RTC stated that support is demandable from the time plaintiff
needed the said support but is payable only from the date of judicial demand. A total
of P1,750,000.00should be paid by Danilo to Susan (i.e P250k x 7 months that
elapsed from time of filing of complaint until hearing of support pendente lite), and
P250,000.00 for every month.
Danilo filed an MR which was denied.
Danilo filed a petition for Certiorari before the CA.
CA, finding that RTC gravely abuse its discretion, reduced monthly support
pendente lite to P115,000.00.
Neither of the parties appealed CA’s decision.
In a Compliance, Danilo issued a check in the amount of P162,651.90 payable to
Susan. Daniloexplained that, as decreed in the CA decision, he deducted the

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 6
advances given by him to Susan and his children in the sum of P2,482,348.16 (with
attached photocopies of receipts/billings)from the total amount of support in arrears
amounting to P2,645,000.00.
RTC issued a writ of execution as it did not agree with Danilo’s interpretation of the
CA decision.
However, respondent still failed and refused to pay the support in arrears pendente
lite, hence petitioner filed in the a Petition for Contempt of Court with Damages in the
CA. On the other hand, Danilo filed a petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 against the
RTC judge.
CA ruled in favor of Danilo. CA ordered the deduction of the amount of a total of
PhP3,428,813.80 from the current total support in arrears (larger amount to be
deducted from support in arrears; because two expensive cars bought by
respondent for his children plus their maintenance cost, plus travel and grocery
expenses were included in the deduction). It held that the trial court should not have
completely disregarded the expenses incurred by respondent consisting of the
purchase and maintenance of the two cars, payment of tuition fees, travel expenses,
and the credit card purchases involving groceries, dry goods and books, which
certainly inured to the benefit not only of the two children, but their mother as well.
Issue/s:
1. WON certain expenses already incurred by the respondent may be deducted
from the total support in arrears owing to petitioner and her children .(YES –only
those necessary for sustenance and household expenses.)
Argument:
Petitioner argues that it was patently erroneous for the CA to have allowed the
deduction of the value of the two cars and their maintenance costs from the support in
arrears, as these items are not indispensable to the sustenance of the family or in
keeping them alive.
Respondent, on the other hand, contends that disallowing the subject deductions would
result in unjust enrichment, thus making him pay for the same obligation twice.
Ratio:
YES–Necessary for sustenance and household expensesalready incurred by the
respondent may be deducted from the total support in arrears owing to petitioner and
her children
Substantive law
 As a matter of law, the amount of support which those related by marriage and
family relationship is generally obliged to give each other shall be in proportion to
the resources or means of the giver and to the needs of the recipient. Such
support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing,
medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial
capacity of the family.
Remedial law
 Upon receipt of a verified petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void
marriage or for annulment of voidable marriage, or for legal separation, and at
any time during the proceeding, the court, motuproprio or upon verified
application of any of the parties, guardian or designated custodian, may
temporarily grant support pendente lite prior to the rendition of judgment or final
order.
 Because of its provisional nature, a court does not need to delve fully into the
merits of the case before it can settle an application for this relief. All that a court
is tasked to do is determine the kind and amount of evidence which may suffice
to enable it to justly resolve the application.
 It is enough that the facts be established by affidavits or other documentary
evidence appearing in the record.
o In this case, the amount of monthly support pendente lite for petitioner and
her two children was determined after due hearing and submission of

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 7
documentary evidence by the parties. Although the amount fixed by the
trial court was reduced on appeal, it is clear that the monthly support
pendente lite of P115,000.00 ordered by the CA was intended primarily for
the sustenance of petitioner and her children, e.g., food, clothing, salaries
of drivers and house helpers, and other household expenses.
o There is no controversy as to thesufficiency and reasonableness of
monthly support pendente lite as it was not appealed by either party.

o The dispute concerns the deductions made by respondent in settling the


support in arrears.
What deductions should be made?
 The CA should not have allowed all the expenses incurred by Danilo to be
credited against the accrued support pendente lite.
 Any amount respondent seeks to be credited as monthly support should only
cover those incurred for sustenance and household expenses
o As earlier mentioned, the monthly supportpendente lite granted by the trial
court was intended primarily for food, household expenses such as
salaries of drivers and house helpers, and also petitioner’s scoliosis
therapy sessions.
o Hence, the value of two expensive cars bought byDanilo for his children
plus their maintenance cost, travel expenses of petitioner and Angelli,
purchases through credit card of items other than groceries and dry goods
(clothing) should have been disallowed, as these bear no relation to the
judgment awarding support pendente lite.
o The ruling of the CA allowing huge deductions from the accrued monthly
support completely ignores the unfair consequences to petitioner whose
sustenance and wellbeing, was given due regard by the trial and appellate
courts.
Wherefore,the petition is PARTLY GRANTED. The Decision dated April 20, 2006 of the
Court of Appeals in CAG.R. SP Nos. 01154 and 01315 is hereby MODIFIED to read as
follows:
“WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered:
a) DISMISSING, for lack of merit, the case of Petition for Contempt of Court with
Damages filed by Susan Lim Lua against Danilo Y. Lua with docket no. SP.
CAG.R. No. 01154;
b) GRANTING IN PART Danilo Y. Lua’s Petition for Certioraridocketed as SP.
CA G.R. No. 01315. Consequently, the assailed Orders dated 27 September
2005 and 25 November 2005 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 14, Cebu
City issued in Civil Case No. CEB29346 entitled “Susan Lim Lua versus
Danilo Y. Lua, are hereby NULLIFIED and SET ASIDE, and instead a new
one is entered:
i. ORDERING the deduction of the amount of Php 648,102.29from the
support pendentelitein arrears of Danilo Y. Lua to his wife, Susan Lim
Lua and their two (2) children;
ii. ORDERING Danilo Y. Lua to resume payment of his monthly support of
PhP115,000.00 pesos starting from the time payment of this amount was
deferred by him subject to the deduction aforementioned.
iii. DIRECTING the immediate execution of this judgment. SO
ORDERED.”

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 8
ESPANO V. CA      G.R. No. 120431. April 1, 1998

FACTS:

The accused was caught in flagrante by herein police officers selling Marijuana
near Zamora and Pandacan Streets, where they are conducting an investigation in the
area reported being rampant of drug pushing. The agents frisked the accused after he
completed his transaction to a buyer and there found with him 2 tea bags of Marijuana.
Accused was asked by the police officers whether he has some more of the marijuana
and told them he got more at his house. They went to the accused house and found 10
more teabags of Marijuana.
During the trial, accused denied all the allegations against him and made an alibi that he
was in his house sleeping when the police officer went to his house looking for his
brother in law and instead handcuffed him to take his part for allegedly having in his
possession 10 teabags of Marijuana.
The trial court did not believe his alibi and found him guilty of violation of Article II,
Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6425, as amended, otherwise known as the Dangerous
Drugs Act.
Accused appealed and said that the arrest was illegally done and the search of his
house is deemed a violation of his constitutional right.

ISSUE:

WON the warrantless arrest is valid.

HELD:

YES. Petitioner’s arrest falls squarely under the aforecited rule (Rule 113 Section 5(a) of
the Rules of Court ). He was caught in flagranti as a result of a buy-bust operation
conducted by police officers on the basis of information received regarding the illegal
trade of drugs within the area of Zamora and Pandacan Streets, Manila. The police
officer saw petitioner handing over something to an alleged buyer. After the buyer left,
they searched him and discovered two pieces of cellophane of marijuana. His arrest
was, therefore, lawful and the two cellophane bags of marijuana seized were admissible
in evidence, being the fruits of the crime.

As for the ten cellophane bags of marijuana found at petitioners residence, however, the
same are inadmissible in evidence.

The 1987 Constitution guarantees freedom against unreasonable searches and


seizures under Article III, Section 2 which provides:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects
against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose
shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon
probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath
or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly
describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

An exception to the said rule is a warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest for
dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission of an
offense. It may extend beyond the person of the one arrested to include the premises or
surroundings under his immediate control. In this case, the ten cellophane bags of
marijuana seized at petitioners house after his arrest at Pandacan and Zamora Streets
do not fall under the said exceptions.

Petition denied with a modification that the 10 bags of marijuana seized from his house
is inadmissible in evidence since no search warrant was served to him.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 9
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. MO LINA
FACTS: Sometime in June 1996, SPO1 Paguidopon received an information
regarding the presence of an alleged marijuana pusher in Davao City. His informer
pointed to the motorcycle driver, accused-appellant Mula, as the pusher. As to
accused-appellant Molina, SPO1 Paguidopon had no occasion to see him before the
arrest. Moreover, the names and addresses of the accused-appellants came to the
knowledge of SPO1 Paguidopon only after they were arrested. In the morning of August
8, 1996, SPO1 Paguidopon received an information that the alleged pusher will be
passing at NHA, Ma-a, Davao City. He called for assistance at the PNP proceed to the
house of SPO1 Marino Paguidopon where they would wait for the alleged pusher to
pass by. At around 9:30 in the morning of August 8, 1996, a “trisikad” carrying the
accused-appellants passed by. At that instance, SPO1 Paguidopon pointed to the
accused-appellants as the pushers. The police officers then ordered the “trisikad” to
stop. SPO1 Pamplona introduced himself as a police officer and asked accused-
appellant Molina to open the bag. Molina replied, “Boss, if possible we will settle this.”
SPO1 Pamplona insisted on opening the bag, which revealed dried marijuana leaves
inside. Thereafter, accused-appellants Mula and Molina were handcuffed by the police
officers.
Accused-appellants contended that the marijuana allegedly seized from them is
inadmissible as evidence for having been obtained in violation of their constitutional
right against unreasonable searches and seizures.
ISSUE: W/N THE MARIJUANA IS INADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE FOR HAVING BEEN
SEIZED IN VIOLATION OF APPELLANTS’ CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AGAINST
UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES
HELD: The fundamental law of the land mandates that searches and seizures be
carried out in a reasonable fashion. The Constitution provides: SEC. 2. The right of the
people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable
searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and
no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be
determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the
complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to
be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
Search and seizure may be made without a warrant and the evidence obtained
therefrom may be admissible in the following instances: (1) search incident to a lawful
arrest; (2) search of a moving motor vehicle; (3) search in violation of customs laws; (4)
seizure of evidence in plain view; (5) when the accused himself waives his right against
unreasonable searches and seizures; [24] and (6) stop and frisk situations.
As a rule, an arrest is considered legitimate if effected with a valid warrant of arrest.
The Rules of Court, however, recognizes permissible warrantless arrests. Thus, a
peace officer or a private person may, without warrant, arrest a person: (a) when, in his
presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit an offense (arrest in flagrante delicto); (b) when an offense has
just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it
(arrest effected in hot pursuit); and (c) when the person to be arrested is a prisoner who
has escaped from a penal establishment or a place where he is serving final judgment
or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being
transferred from one confinement to another (arrest of escaped prisoners). In the case
at bar, accused-appellants manifested no outward indication that would justify their
arrest. In holding a bag on board a trisikad, accused-appellants could not be said to be
committing, attempting to commit or have committed a crime. The response of Molina
that “Boss, if possible we will settle this” is an equivocal statement which standing alone
will not constitute probable cause to effect an inflagrante delicto arrest. Note that were
it not for SPO1 Marino Paguidopon (who did not participate in the arrest but merely
pointed accused-appellants to the arresting officers), accused-appellants could not be
the subject of any suspicion, reasonable or otherwise. SPO1 Paguidopon only learned
Mula’s name and address after the arrest. It is doubtful if SPO1 Paguidopon indeed

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 10
recognized accused-appellant Mula. It is worthy to note that, before the arrest, he was
able to see Mula in person only once, pinpointed to him by his informer while they were
on the side of the road. These circumstances could not have afforded SPO1
Paguidopon a closer look at accused-appellant Mula, considering that the latter was
then driving a motorcycle when SPO1 Paguidopon caught a glimpse of him. With
respect to accused-appellant Molina, SPO1 Paguidopon admitted that he had never
seen him before the arrest.
The Court holds that the arrest of accused-appellants does not fall under the exceptions
allowed by the rules. Hence, the search conducted on their person was likewise illegal.
Consequently, the marijuana seized by the peace officers could not be admitted as
evidence. WHEREFORE accused are ACQUITTED

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 11
People v. Tiu Won Chua 405 scra 280

Facts:
Accused Tiu Won Chua a.k.a. Timothy Tiu and Qui Yaling y Chua a.k.a. Sun Tee
Sy y Chua were charged and convicted by the lower court for violation of Section 16,
Article III of the dangerous drug act of 1972, for their illegal possession of a regulated
drug, shabu.
They appealed the decision of the lower court questioning the legality of the
search warrant and the search and arrest conducted pursuant thereto, and the
correctness of the judgment of conviction imposed by the RTC. Accused contends that
the defect in the issuance of the search warrant, for it was issued in the name of
Timothy Tiu and did not include appellant Qui Yaling, would make the search conducted
and consequently, the arrest, illegal. That the evidence presented cannot be serve as
basis for their conviction being fruits of an illegal search.

Issues:
1. Whether or not their was a valid search warrant.
2. Whether or not the court correctly imposed judgment of conviction to the accused.

Ruling:
1. There are only four requisites for a valid warrant, i.e,: (1) it must be issued upon
"probable cause"; (2) probable cause must be determined personally by the judge;
(3) such judge must examine under oath or affirmation the complainant and the
witnesses he may produce; and (4) the warrant must particularly describe the place
to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. A mistake in the name of the
person to be searched does not invalidate the warrant, especially since in this case,
the authorities had personal knowledge of the drug-related activities of the accused
by virtue of the surveillance and test-buy operations of the said authorities. In fact, a
"John Doe" warrant satisfies the requirements so long as it contains a descriptio
personae such as will enable the officer to identify the accused. Moreover, a mistake
in the identification of the owner of the place does not invalidate the warrant
provided the place to be searched is properly described. However, the court affirms
the illegality of the search conducted on the car for it was not part of the description
of the place to be searched mentioned in the warrant.

2. In a prosecution for illegal possession of a dangerous drug, it must be shown that (1)
appellants were in possession of an item or an object identified to be a prohibited or
regulated drug, (2) such possession is not authorized by law, and (3) the appellants
were freely and consciously aware of being in possession of the drug. Since the
crime is malum prohibitum, hence, lack of criminal intent or good faith does not
exempt appellants from criminal liability. Mere possession of a regulated drug
without legal authority is punishable under the Dangerous Drugs Act. In the case at
bar, the prosecution sufficiently proved that the packs of shabu were found inside a
room in the unit subject of the search warrant, more particularly inside the man’s
handbag and ladies’ handbag owned respectively by the accused. As to the
penalties imposed, the court did not sustain the trial court’s decision attributing to
both appellants the illegal possession of the same amount of shabu. Since no
conspiracy was proven, the amount of the shabu from each accused was made the
basis of the penalty imposed. Thus, since 234.5 grams of shabu were found inside
the man’s handbag, deemed to be owned by Tiu Won, he is guilty of violating
Section 16, Article III of R.A. No. 6425, while Qui Yaling, whose handbag contained
only 20.3673 grams of shabu is guilty of violating Section 20 thereof. Section 16, in
connection with Section 20 (1st paragraph), provides the penalty of reclusion
perpetua to death and a fine ranging from five hundred thousand pesos to ten million
pesos where the amount of shabu involved is 200 grams or more. Where the
amount is less than 200 grams, Section 20 punishes the offender with the penalty
ranging from prision correccional to reclusion perpetua.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 12
G.R. Nos. 136066-67 February 4, 2003
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs.
BINAD SY CHUA, accused-appellant.

FACTS:
Accused-appellant Binad Sy Chua was charged with violation of Section 16, Articl
e III of R.A. 6425, as amended by

R.A. 7659, and for Illegal Possession of ammunitions in two separate Information s.

The prosecution presented three (3) witnesses, all members of the police force o f
Angeles City. Their testimonies can be synthesized that on Sept. 21, 1996 at a round
10:00 in the evening SPO2 Nulud and PO2 Nunag received a report from their
confidential informant the accussed was about to delive drugs in Thunder Hotel that
night. On such basis, PNP Chief of Angeles City Col. Gutierrez immediately formed a
team and positioned themselves across McArthur Highway fronting Thunder Inn Hotel.
At around 11:45 in the evening, their informer pointed to a car driv en by accused-
appellant which just arrived and parked near the entrance of the Thunder Inn Hotel.
After accused-appellant alighted from the car carrying a sealed Zest-O juice box, SPO2
Nulud and PO2 Nunag hurriedly accosted him and int roduced themselves as police
officers. As accused-appellant pulled out his wallet, a small transparent plasti c bag with
a crystalline substance protruded from his right back pocket. Forthwith, SPO2 Nulud
subjected him to a b ody search which yielded twenty(20) pieces of live .22 caliber
firearm bullets from his left back pocket. When SPO2 Nunag peeked into the contents of
the Zest-O box, he saw that it contained a crystalline substance. SP O2 Nulud instantly
confiscated the small transparent plastic bag, the Zest-O juice box, the twenty (20)
pieces of . 22 caliber firearm bullets and the car used by accused-appellant. Afterwards,
SPO2 Nulud and the other police operative s who arrived at the scene brought the
confiscated items to the office of Col. Guttierez at the PNP Headqua rters in Camp
Pepito, Angeles City. When Col. Gutierrez opened the sealed Zest-O juice box, he
found 2 big plastic bags containing crystalline substances, shabu. Accused denied the
accusation and narrated a different version. (technically an g story niya pinalabas na
frame-up siya. Pinara siya sa daan at dinala sa presin to, dinetain sa cr at nang
pinalabas siya pinahawak lang sakanya yung Zesto-O bo x sa harap ng media).RTC
ruled guilty for illegal possession of shabu but acquitted for illegal posse ssion of
ammunition. Hence the appeal. Accused-appellant maintains that the warrantless arrest
and search made by the p olice operatives was unlawful; that in the light of the
testimony of SPO2 Nulud that prior to his arrest he has been under surveillance for two
years, there was therefore no compelling reason for the haste within which the a
rresting officers sought to arrest and search him without a warrant; that the police
officers had sufficient inform ation about him and could haveeasily arrested him.
Accused-appellant further argues that since his arrest was null an void, the drugs that
were seized should likewise be inadmissible in evidence since they were obtained in
violation of his constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizures and
arrest.

ISSUE:

WON the warrantless arrest and search made by the police operatives was unlawful ,
hence the drugs seized are likewise inadmissible.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 13
HELD:

YES and YES. A thorough review of the evidence on record belies the findings and
conclusion of the trial court that the accused was caught in flagrante delicto. It confused
the two different concepts of a search incidental to a lawful arrest (in flagrante d elicto)
and of a "stop-and-frisk." In a search incidental to a lawful arrest, instance, the law
requires that there first be arrest before a search can be made the process cannot be
reversed. At bottom, assuming a valid arrest, th e arresting officer may search the
person of the arrestee and the area within which the latter may reach for a weapon or
for evidence to destroy, and seize any money or property found which was used in the
commission of the crime, or the fruit of the crime, or that which may be used as
evidence, or which might furnish the arrestee with the means of escaping or committing
violence.

While "stop-and-frisk" is the same as a "limited protective search of outer clot hing for
weapons." It is a carefully limited search of the outer clothing of suc h persons in an
attempt to discover weapons which might be used to assault the p olice officer in the
course of observing the unusual conduct of the person. In the case at bar, neither the in
flagrante delicto nor the "stop and frisk" pr inciples is applicable to justify the warrantless
arrest and consequent search and seizure made by the police operativ es on accused-
appellant. Considering that the identity, address and activities of the suspected culprit
was already a scertained two years previous to the actual arrest, there was indeed no
reason why the police officers could not have obtained a judicial warrant before
arresting accused-appellant and searching his person. Obviously, the acts of the police
operatives wholly depended on the information given to them by their confidential
informant. Accordingly, before and during that time of the arrest, the arresting officers
had no personal knowledge that accused-appellant had just committed, was committing,
or was about to commi t a crime.

Neither can there be valid seizure in plain view nor a search of a moving vehicl e, a
consented warrantless search, or a customs search. It cannot even fall unde r exigent
and emergency circumstances, for the evidence at hand is bereft of any
such showing.

Furthermore, the court entertain doubts whether the items allegedly seized from
accused-appellant were the very same
items presented at the trial of this case. The items were therefore not marked a
t the place where they were taken.

ACCUSED IS ACQUITTED. Hooray

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 14
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs. MELLY SARAP y ARCANGELES and ROGER AMAR y MATEO, accused-
appellant.
[G.R. No. 132165. March 26, 2003]
FACTS:
Armed with a search warrant, SPO4 Gelacio R. Guarino, Chief of Police of Banga,
Aklan together with PO2 Jhanny Navida, raided the house of Conrado Ricaforte at Rizal
St., Poblacion, Banga, Aklan on March 2, 1996, relative to the reported sale of
marijuana by its occupants, Jonalyn Duran, Joysie Duran and Pepe Casabuena. The
three were apprehended for illegal possession of marijuana and were detained at the
Banga Police Station. In the course of their investigation, the police learned that a
certain Melly from Capiz and Roger Amar were the suppliers of marijuana and that they
will be back on March 4, 1996.
On March 4, 1996, Janet Iguiz, caretaker of the house of Conrado Ricaforte informed
Guarino that there were two strangers looking for the Duran sisters. Then they
proceeded to the house and saw a woman, who turned out to be accused-appellant
Melly Sarap. Melly saw Guarino and Navida in police uniform and immediately threw
away her black canvass bag, which Roger Amar picked up. Guarino Blocked Sarap’s
path and grabbed from her the green plastic bag she was holding. The plastic bag was
found to contain two blocks of marijuana fruiting tops. Navida pursued Amar and
arrested him. The accused-apellant denied the accusations against her. The Court fines
accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Article II, Sec 4 of Republic Act
6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act. The accused appealed the
decision of the trial court.
ISSUES:
(1) Whether the warrantless search and arrest conducted is legal.
(2) Whether the evidence presented by the prosecution is sufficient to find the
accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
RULING:
A search may be conducted by law enforcers only on the strength of a warrant validly
issued by a judge as provided in Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution. Articles which
are the product of unreasonable searches and seizures are inadmissible as evidence,
pursuant to Article III, Section 3 (2) of the Constitution. Warrantless searches and
seizures may be made without a warrant in the following instances: (1) search incident
to a lawful arrest, (2) search of a moving motor vehicle, (3) search in violation of custom
laws, (4) seizure of the evidence in plain view, (5) when the accused himself waives his
right against unreasonable searches and seizures, (6) stop and frisk and (7) exigent and
emergency circumstances. These instances, however do not dispense with the
requisite of probable cause before a warrantless search and seizure can be lawfully
conducted. In warrantless search cases, probable cause must only be based on
reasonable ground of suspicion or belief that a crime has been committed or is about to
be committed.
Without the illegally seized prohibited drug, the appellant’s conviction cannot stand.
There is simply no sufficient evidence to convict her. That the search disclosed
marijuana fruiting tops in appellant’s possession, and thus confirmed the police officers’
initial information and suspicion, did not cure its patent illegality. An illegal search
cannot be undertaken and then an arrest effected on the strength of the evidence
yielded by the search for being a fruit of a poisonous tree.
All told, the guilt of the accused-appellant was not proven beyond reasonable doubt
measured by the required moral certainty of conviction. The evidence presented by the
prosecution was not enough to overcome the presumption of innocence as
constitutionally ordained

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 15
Wherefore the Accused-appellant Melly Sarap y Arcangeles is ACQUITTED of the
crime charged on the ground of reasonable doubt.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 16
People vs Estella

G.R. Nos. 138539-40.  January 21, 2003


Facts: According to the accused, the policemen asked him as to where his house is
located and accused told them that his house is located across the road.  The police
did not believe him and insisted that accused’s house (according to their asset) is
that house located about 5-8 meters away from them.  Accused told the policemen
to inquire from the Barangay Captain Barnachea as to where his house is and heard the
latter telling the policemen that his house is located near the Abokabar junk shop.   After
about half an hour, the policemen went inside the house nearby and when they came
out, they had with them a bulk of plastic and had it shown to the accused.
Accused denied having surrendered to policeman Buloron tin cans containing marijuana
and likewise having any firearm.

Issue: Whether the search and seizure undertaken in the hut where the subject
marijuana was seized was valid/legal.
Held: No.
The only link that can be made between appellant and the subject hut is that it was
bought by his brother Leonardo a.k.a. “Narding” Estella. We cannot sustain the OSG’s
supposition that since it was being rented by the alleged live-in partner of
appellant, it follows that he was also occupying it or was in full control of it.  In the
first place, other than SPO1 Buloron’s uncorroborated testimony, no other evidence was
presented by the prosecution to prove that the person renting the hut was indeed the
live-in partner of appellant — if he indeed had any.
At most, the testimony shows that the subject hut was bought by Narding Estella and
rented by someone named Eva.  The attempt to make it appear that appellant occupied
it, or that it was under his full control, is merely conjectural and speculative.  We have
often ruled that courts do not rely on evidence that arouses mere suspicion or
conjecture. To lead to conviction, evidence must do more than raise the mere
possibility or even probability of guilt. It must engender moral certainty.
Neither do we find merit in the OSG’s argument that appellant cannot deny
ownership or control of the hut, since he was found in front of it, sitting on a
rocking chair and drinking coffee. Indeed, to uphold this proposition would be to
stretch our imagination to the extreme.
The OSG maintains that when appellant was “shown the search warrant and asked
about the existence of prohibited drug in his possession, appellant went inside the hut,
took his stock of marijuana and turned it [over] to the police officers.” This, according to
the prosecution, clearly showed that he was not only occupying the hut, but was in fact
using it to store the prohibited drug.

In the case at bar, we believe that the trial court erred in adopting the prosecution’s
dubious story.  It failed to see patent inconsistencies in the prosecution witnesses’
testimonies about the search undertaken.

It is undisputed that even before arriving at the hut, the police officers were already
being assisted by Barangay Captain Barnachea.  Thus, it was highly improbable for him
not to see personally appellant’s alleged voluntary surrender of the prohibited drug to
the authorities.  And yet, his testimony completely contradicted the policemen’s version
of the events.  He testified that appellant, after being served the search warrant,
remained outside the hut and did nothing.  In fact, the former categorically stated that
when the police officers had gone inside the hut to conduct the search, appellant
remained seated on a rocking chair outside. Barnachea’s statements sow doubts as to
the veracity of SPO1 Buloron’s claim that, after being apprised of the contents of the
search warrant, appellant voluntarily surrendered the prohibited drug to the police.

Apart from the testimony of Barnachea — which contradicted rather than validated the
story of SPO1 Buloron — no other evidence was presented to corroborate the latter’s
narration of the events.  Without any independent or corroborative proof, it has little or
no probative value at all.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 17
In a criminal prosecution, the court is always guided by evidence that is tangible,
verifiable, and in harmony with the usual course of human experience — not by mere
conjecture or speculation. While the guilty should not escape, the innocent should not
suffer.

The OSG argues that “[e]ven assuming that appellant was not the occupant of the hut,
the fact remains that he voluntarily surrendered the marijuana to the police
officers.  After appellant had surrendered the prohibited stuff, the police had a right to
arrest him even without a warrant and to conduct a search of the immediate vicinity of
the arrestee for weapons and other unlawful objects as an incident to the lawful arrest.”

The above argument assumes that the prosecution was able to prove that appellant had
voluntarily surrendered the marijuana to the police officers. As earlier adverted to,
there is no convincing proof that he indeed surrendered the prohibited drug,
whether voluntarily or otherwise.  In fact, the testimony of Prosecution Witness
Barnachea clouds rather than clarifies the prosecution’s story.
Given this backdrop, the police authorities cannot claim that the search was
incident to a lawful arrest.  Such a search presupposes a lawful or valid
arrest and can only be invoked through Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on
Criminal Procedure, which we quote:
“SEC. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful – A peace officer or a private person may,
without a warrant, arrest a person:
“(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually
committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;

“(b)    When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe
based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested
has committed it; and

“(c)    When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal
establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined
while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement
to another.

Having ruled that the prosecution failed to prove appellant’s ownership, control
of or residence in the subject hut, we hold that the presence of appellant or of
witnesses during the search now becomes moot and academic.
Obviously, appellant need not have been present during the search if he was
neither the owner nor the lawful occupant of the premises in question. Besides, as
we have noted, the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses regarding these crucial
circumstances were contradictory.  They erode SPO1 Buloron’s credibility as a
prosecution witness and raise serious doubts concerning the prosecution’s
evidence.  This Court is thus constrained to view his testimony with caution and care.
With the failure of the prosecution to establish the propriety of the search
undertaken — during which the incriminating evidence was allegedly recovered
— we hold that the search was illegal.  Without the badge of legality, any
evidence obtained therein becomes ipso facto inadmissible.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 18
Constitutional Law: PEOPLE VS LAGUIO JR.
PEOPLE VS LAGUIO JR.

FACTS: Respondent was acquitted on 3 different cases filed against him (dangerous
drugs act, illegal possession of firearms and comelec gun ban) after his demurrer to
evidence (inadmissibility of the evidence) was granted due to the illegal/unlawful arrest,
search and seizure that was conducted by the police officers contending that he was
arrested in flagrante delicto but the defense further presented that respondent did not
do any overt act to make him be subject to a warrantless arrest under the exceptions in
section 5 of rule 113.

ISSUE: Whether there was lawful arrest, search and seizure by the police operatives in
this case despite the absence of a WOA and/or SW.

HELD:
There are actually two (2) acts involved in this case, namely, the warrantless arrest and
the warrantless search. There is no question that warrantless search may be conducted
as an incident to a valid warrantless arrest. The law requires that there be first a lawful
arrest before a search can be made; the process cannot be reversed. However, if there
are valid reasons to conduct lawful search and seizure which thereafter shows that the
accused is currently committing a crime, the accused may be lawfully arrested in
flagrante delicto without need for a warrant of arrest.
Section 5, provides three (3) instances when warrantless arrest may be lawfully
effected: (a) arrest of a suspect in flagrante delicto; (b) arrest of a suspect where, based
on personal knowledge of the arresting officer, there is probable cause that said suspect
was the author of a crime which had just been committed; (c) arrest of a prisoner who
has escaped from custody serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case
is pending.
For a warrantless arrest of an accused caught in flagrante delicto under paragraph (a)
of Section 5 to be valid, two requisites must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must
execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within
the view of the arresting officer.
The facts and circumstances surrounding the present case did not manifest any
suspicious behavior on the part of private respondent Lawrence Wang that would
reasonably invite the attention of the police. He was merely walking from the Maria
Orosa Apartment and was about to enter the parked BMW car when the police
operatives arrested him, frisked and searched his person and commanded him to open
the compartment of the car, which was later on found to be owned by his friend, David
Lee. He was not committing any visible offense then. Therefore, there can be no valid
warrantless arrest in flagrante delicto under paragraph (a) of Section 5. It is settled that
"reliable information" alone, absent any overt act indicative of a felonious enterprise in
the presence and within the view of the arresting officers, is not sufficient to constitute
probable cause that would justify an in flagrante delicto arrest.

The inevitable conclusion, as correctly made by the trial court, is that the warrantless
arrest was illegal. Ipso jure, the warrantless search incidental to the illegal arrest is
likewise unlawful.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 19
G.R. No. 171729 July 28, 2008
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee,
vs.
RICARDO BOHOL y CABRINO, Appellant.

DECISION

QUISUMBING, J.:

On appeal is the Decision1 dated September 23, 2005 of the Court of Appeals in CA-
G.R. CR-HC No. 01247 affirming the Decision2 dated March 7, 2003 of the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 35, in Criminal Cases Nos. 02-205461 and 02-
205462. The RTC had convicted appellant Ricardo Bohol (Bohol) of violating Sections
11 (3)3 and 5,4 Article II, respectively, of Republic Act No. 91655 also known as the
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

On August 7, 2002, two Informations6 were filed against Bohol before the RTC of
Manila, Branch 35, for violations of Rep. Act No. 9165.

In Criminal Case No. 02-205461, involving the violation of Section 11 (3), Article II of
Rep. Act No. 9165, the information reads as follows:

That on or about August 2, 2002, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused,
without being authorized by law to possess any dangerous drug, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and knowingly have in his possession and under his custody and
control three (3) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing white crystalline
substance commonly known as "shabu" weighing zero point zero four eight (0.048)
gram, zero point zero three five (0.035) gram, and zero point zero three five (0.035)
gram, respectively, which, after a laboratory examination, gave positive results for
methylamphetamine (sic) hydrochloride, a dangerous drug.

CONTRARY TO LAW.7

In Criminal Case No. 02-205462, for violation of Section 5 of the same law, the
information reads as follows:

That on or about August 2, 2002, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused,
without being authorized by law to sell, administer, deliver, transport or distribute any
dangerous drug, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and knowingly sell or attempt to
sell, or offer for sale for ₱100.00 and deliver to PO2 Ferdinand Estrada, a poseur buyer,
one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance
commonly known as "shabu" weighing zero point zero five four (0.054) gram, which
substance, after a qualitative examination, gave positive results for methamphetamine
hydrochloride, which is a dangerous drug.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 20
CONTRARY TO LAW.8

The antecedent facts in these cases are as follows.

On August 2, 2002, at around 8:30 p.m., a confidential informant came to the police
station and tipped P/Sr. Insp. Jessie Nitullano that a certain Ricardo Bohol is engaged in
illegal drug trade in Isla Puting Bato, Tondo, Manila. P/Sr. Insp. Nitullano then formed a
team of six police operatives to verify the informant’s tip, and, if found positive, to launch
then and there a buy-bust entrapment of Bohol. PO2 Ferdinand Estrada was assigned
to act as poseur buyer, and he was provided with a marked ₱100-bill as buy-bust
money.

Between 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. of the same day, the team proceeded to the site of
their operation. Guided by the informant, PO2 Estrada proceeded to the house of Bohol,
whom they saw standing beside the stairs of his house. Following a short introduction,
PO2 Estrada and the informant told Bohol of their purpose. Bohol asked, "How much?"
to which PO2 Estrada replied, "Piso lang" (meaning ₱100 worth of shabu) and handed
to the former the marked ₱100-bill. In turn, Bohol gave PO2 Estrada a plastic sachet
containing white crystalline granules which the latter suspected to be shabu. The illicit
transaction having been consummated, PO2 Estrada gave to his companions their pre-
arranged signal. Emerging from their hiding places, PO2 Luisito Gutierrez and his
companions arrested Bohol. PO2 Gutierrez frisked Bohol and recovered from him the
buy-bust money and three plastic sachets containing similar white crystalline granules
suspected to be shabu.

Consequently, the police officers brought Bohol to the police station and the confiscated
four plastic sachets of white crystalline substance were subjected to laboratory
examination. The specimens were confirmed to be methamphetamine hydrochloride,
commonly known as shabu.

Upon arraignment, Bohol entered a plea of "not guilty" to both charges. Thereafter, trial
on the merits ensued.

On March 7, 2003, the trial court rendered the assailed Decision, the dispositive portion
of which reads:

WHEREFORE, judgment is rendered:

(1) In Criminal Case No. 02-205461, pronouncing accused RICARDO BOHOL y


CABRINO guilty beyond reasonable doubt of possession of a total of 0.118 gram of
[methamphetamine] hydrochloride without authority of law, penalized under Section 11
(3) of Republic Act No. 9165, and sentencing the said accused to the indeterminate
penalty of imprisonment from twelve (12) years and one (1) day, as minimum, to fifteen
(15) years, as maximum, and to pay a fine of ₱300,000.00, plus the costs.

(2) In Criminal Case No. 02-205462, pronouncing the same accused RICARDO BOHOL
y CABRINO guilty beyond reasonable doubt of selling 0.054 gram of
[methamphetamine] hydrochloride without authority of law, penalized under Section 5 of

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 21
the same Republic Act No. 9165, and sentencing the said accused to life imprisonment
and to pay a fine of ₱5,000,000.00, plus the costs.

In the service of his sentence in Criminal Case No. 02-205461, the time during which
the accused had been under preventive imprisonment should be credited in his favor
provided that he had agreed voluntarily in writing to abide with the same disciplinary
rules imposed on convicted prisoner. Otherwise, he should be credited with four-fifths
(4/5) only of the time he had been under preventive imprisonment.

Exhibits B and B-1, consisting of four sachets of shabu, are ordered forfeited and
confiscated in favor of the Government. Within ten (10) days following the promulgation
of this judgment, the Branch Clerk of this Court is ordered to turn over, under proper
receipt, the drug involved in this case to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency
(PDEA) for proper disposal.

SO ORDERED.9

Since one of the penalties imposed by the trial court is life imprisonment, the cases
were forwarded to this Court for automatic review. On June 15, 2005, this Court
transferred the cases to the Court of Appeals for intermediate review pursuant to this
Court’s decision in People v. Mateo.10

In a Decision dated September 23, 2005, the Court of Appeals denied the appeal and
affirmed the decision of the trial court with modification, so that the penalty in Criminal
Case No. 02-205461 should be imprisonment for 12 years, as minimum, to 14 years, 8
months and 1 day, as maximum. Bohol’s Motion for Reconsideration was likewise
denied by the appellate court. Thus, Bohol filed a notice of appeal.

By Resolution11 dated June 14, 2006, this Court required the parties to file their
respective supplemental briefs if they so desire. Bohol and the Office of the Solicitor
General (OSG), however, manifested that they are adopting their briefs before the
appellate court. Hence, we shall resolve the instant appeal on the basis of the
arguments of the parties in said briefs.

In his appellant’s brief, Bohol assigns the following errors:

I.

THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT FINDING THE ACCUSED-


APPELLANT’S SEARCH AND ARREST AS ILLEGAL.

II.

THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-


APPELLANT OF THE CRIME CHARGED DESPITE THE FAILURE OF THE
PROSECUTION TO PROVE HIS GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.12
FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 22
Simply stated, the issues are: (1) whether Bohol’s arrest and the search on his person
were illegal; and (2) whether the trial court erred in convicting Bohol despite the
absence of proof beyond reasonable doubt.

On the first issue, Bohol claims that his arrest was illegal since he could not have
committed, nor was he about to commit, a crime as he was peacefully sleeping when he
was arrested without a warrant. Consequently, the search conducted by the police
officers was not incidental to a lawful warrantless arrest, and the confiscated shabu
obtained from the search was inadmissible as evidence against him.

For the appellee, the OSG maintains that the arrest of Bohol as well as the search on
his person is legal. The OSG stresses that the search made on the person of Bohol was
incidental to a lawful arrest which was made when he was caught in flagrante delicto.
Further, the OSG maintains that at the time of Bohol’s arrest, the police officers had
probable cause to suspect that a crime had been committed since they had received a
tip from a confidential informant of the existence of illegal drug trade in the said place.

Bohol’s arguments are bereft of merit.

The arrest of Bohol is legal. The Constitution proscribes unreasonable arrests and
provides in the Bill of Rights that no arrest, search and seizure can be made without a
valid warrant issued by competent judicial authority.13 However, it is a settled exception
to the rule that an arrest made after an entrapment operation does not require a
warrant. Such warrantless arrest is considered reasonable and valid under Rule 113,
Section 5(a) of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, which states:

Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful.–A peace officer or a private person may,
without a warrant, arrest a person:

(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually
committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;

xxxx

In the present case, the arresting officers were justified in arresting Bohol as he had just
committed a crime when he sold the shabu to PO2 Estrada. A buy-bust operation is a
form of entrapment which has repeatedly been accepted to be a valid means of
arresting violators of the Dangerous Drugs Law.

Considering the legality of Bohol’s warrantless arrest, the subsequent warrantless


search that resulted in the seizure of the shabu found in his person is likewise valid. In a
legitimate warrantless arrest, the arresting police officers are authorized to search and
seize from the offender (1) any dangerous weapons and (2) the things which may be
used as proof of the commission of the offense.14 The constitutional proscription
against warrantless searches and seizures admits of certain exceptions. This Court has
ruled that the following instances constitute valid warrantless searches and seizures: (1)
search incident to a lawful arrest; (2) search of a moving motor vehicle; (3) search in
FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 23
violation of customs laws; (4) seizure of the evidence in plain view; (5) search when the
accused himself waives his right against unreasonable searches and seizures; (6) stop
and frisk; and (7) exigent and emergency circumstances.15

As to the second issue, Bohol contends that the prosecution failed to establish his guilt
beyond reasonable doubt. He faults the trial court for giving full faith and credence to
the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. He asserts that the only reason why he
was arrested was because he was the overseer of a "video-carrera". The police officers
filed the illegal drug trade and possession against him because they failed to find any
evidence to have him tried for overseeing a "video-carrera" place. Lastly, he laments the
failure of the prosecution to present the confidential informant as a witness during the
trial, thereby preventing him from confronting said witness directly.

The OSG counters that the prosecution established Bohol’s guilt beyond reasonable
doubt. The police officers who testified against Bohol were not shown to have been
actuated by improper motives, nor were they shown not properly performing their duty.
Thus, their affirmative testimony proving Bohol’s culpability must be respected and must
perforce prevail. Moreover, the findings of the trial court on the issue of credibility of
witnesses are generally not disturbed by the appellate court and this Court, since it is
the trial court that had the opportunity to appraise firsthand the demeanor of the
witness.

We agree with the OSG. This Court discerns no improper motive on the part of the
police officers that would impel them to fabricate a story and falsely implicate Bohol in
such a serious offense. In the absence of any evidence of the policemen’s improper
motive, their testimony is worthy of full faith and credit. Also, courts generally give full
faith and credit to officers of the law, for they are presumed to have performed their
duties in a regular manner. Accordingly, in entrapment cases, credence is given to the
narration of an incident by prosecution witnesses who are officers of the law and
presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner in the absence of clear
and convincing evidence to the contrary.16

Moreover, we find no cogent reason to disturb the findings of the trial court. The settled
rule is that the evaluation of the testimonies of witnesses by the trial court is entitled to
the highest respect because such court has the direct opportunity to observe the
witnesses’ demeanor and manner of testifying and thus, is in a better position to assess
their credibility.17

Lastly, as ruled by the appellate court, Bohol cannot insist on the presentation of the
informant. During trial, the informant’s presence is not a requisite in the prosecution of
drug cases. The appellate court held that police authorities rarely, if ever, remove the
cloak of confidentiality with which they surround their poseur-buyers and informers since
their usefulness will be over the moment they are presented in court. Further, what is
material to the prosecution for the illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the
transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the
corpus delicti. Both requirements were sufficiently proven in this case. The police
officers were able to testify positively and categorically that the transaction or sale
actually took place. The subject shabu was likewise positively identified by the
prosecution when presented in court. Hence, we agree that Bohol’s guilt has been
established by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt.

Finally, the modification made by the Court of Appeals in the penalty imposed by the
RTC in Criminal Case No. 02-205461 ought to be deleted. Section 1 of the
FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 24
Indeterminate Sentence Law18 provides that when the offense is punished by a law
other than the Revised Penal Code, "the court shall sentence the accused to an
indeterminate sentence, the maximum term of which shall not exceed the maximum
fixed by law and the minimum shall not be less than the minimum term prescribed by
the same." Hence, the penalty originally imposed by the RTC of imprisonment from 12
years and 1 day, as minimum, to 15 years as maximum, and to pay a fine of ₱300,000
is correct and must be sustained.

WHEREFORE, the appeal is DENIED. The Decision dated September 23, 2005 of the
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 01247 is hereby AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATION, so that the original penalty imposed in the Decision dated March 7,
2003 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 35, in Criminal Case No. 02-205461
as well as No. 02-205462 is SUSTAINED. No pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 25
SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. NO. 173483, September 23, 2008]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. MERLIE* DUMANGAY Y


SALE, Appellant.

DECISION

FACTS:

For review is the Decision 1 dated April 28, 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-
H.C. No. 01700. The appellate court affirmed the Decision 2 dated October 29, 2003 of
the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 135 in Criminal Case Nos. 02-3568 and
02-3569. The trial court had convicted appellant Merlie Dumangay y Sale of violation of
Sections 5 and 11 of Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 3 and sentenced her to suffer
the penalty of life imprisonment and pay the fine of P500,000 in Criminal Case No. 02-
3568, and imprisonment of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years and
to pay the fine of P300,000 in Criminal Case No. 02-3569; and pay the cost of suit.

The prosecution presented only one witness, a member of the Makati Anti-Drug Abuse
Council (MADAC), Francisco Barbosa. He testified as follows:

At 7 o'clock in the evening of November 29, 2002, an informant reported to the office of
MADAC Cluster 3 that a certain Merlie, later identified as appellant, was engaged in
selling shabu at the corner of Don Pedro and Enriquez Sts., Barangay Poblacion,
Makati City. Acting on the report, MADAC Cluster Head, Barangay Chairman Vic Del
Prado, formed a team to conduct a buy-bust operation with Barbosa as the poseur-
buyer. Del Prado also coordinated with the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) of the Makati
City Police Station. 5

Thereafter, Del Prado, DEU operative PO1 Jaime Laura, and other MADAC members
proceeded to the place where Merlie was reportedly selling shabu. They found Merlie in
front of her house at 5649 Don Pedro corner Enriquez St., Barangay Poblacion, Makati
City; and with the informant, Barbosa approached Merlie. The informant introduced
Barbosa as a buyer of shabu, while the other members of the team watched from
strategic positions. Merlie then asked Barbosa how much he would buy. Barbosa said,
"dalawang daang piso lang," then handed Merlie the two 100-peso marked money. In
exchange, Merlie gave him a small plastic sachet of a white crystalline substance. After
Barbosa pretended to examine it, he gave the pre-arranged signal to the other members
of the team and they arrested Merlie. Barbosa found the marked money and two more
plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance in Merlie's possession and
informed Merlie the cause of her arrest and apprised her of her constitutional rights. 6

Thereafter, Merlie was brought to the DEU of the Makati City Police Station. The three
plastic sachets were sent to the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory for
examination. The laboratory report confirmed that the sachets contained
methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. Each sachet weighed 0.01 gram. 7

The testimony of the Forensic Chemist who examined the substance and prepared the
report was dispensed with, considering the parties had stipulated that the report was
duly accomplished after the substance examined by the crime laboratory yielded
positive of methamphetamine hydrochloride. 8

The defense presented Merlie as its sole witness. Merlie denied the allegations of the
prosecution. She testified that at the time of the alleged buy-bust operation, she was
already sleeping at home with her daughter when a man awakened her. She said that
there were two men who searched the house. According to her, although no illegal item
was found, she was still forced to board a vehicle and was taken to the Sta. Cruz

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 26
Barangay Hall. There, a certain Minyang had taken her to a comfort room and told her
to strip, but nothing illegal was found on her person. She also said that no uniformed
policemen accompanied the arresting team and that Barbosa was not among the men
who arrested her. She did not file any complaint against the people who arrested her
because she had no relative to help her. 9

On October 29, 2003, the trial court found the evidence of the prosecution sufficient to
prove Merlie's guilt beyond reasonable doubt and rendered a decision of conviction in
Criminal Case Nos. 02-3568 and 02-3569.

The dispositive portion of the trial court's decision reads:


WHEREFORE, it appearing that the guilt of the accused MERL[I]E DUMANGAY y
SALE was proven beyond reasonable doubt for violation of Sections 5 and 11, Article II
of R.A. 9165, as principal, with no mitigating or aggravating circumstances, accused is
hereby sentenced:

1. In Criminal Case No. 02-3568, to suffer life imprisonment and to pay a fine of
P500,000.00;

2. In Criminal Case No. 02-3569, to suffer imprisonment for a term of


twelve 12 years and one 1 day to twenty 20 years and to pay a fine of P300,000.00;
and

3. To pay the costs.

Let the three 3 plastic sachets each containing zero point zero one [0.01] gram of
[Methamphetamine] Hydrochloride be turned over to the PDEA for proper disposition.

SO ORDERED. 10
Merlie appealed. In view of our ruling in People v. Mateo, 11 this case was referred to the
Court of Appeals. 12

Upon review, the Court of Appeals concluded in the Decision dated April 28, 2006 that
the trial court did not err in finding Merlie guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

The appellant and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) opted not to file their
supplemental briefs. But, we find on record their briefs filed with this Court before the
case was transferred to the Court of Appeals. Appellant raised in her brief a single
issue:
THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED FOR
VIOLATION OF SECTIONS 5 AND 11, ARTICLE II OF RA 9165 DESPITE THE
PROSECUTION'S FAILURE TO PROVE HER GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE
DOUBT. 13

ISSUE:
Whether appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Rep. Act No. 9165.

HELD:
Appellant challenges the testimony of Barbosa and claims that it was incredible and
inconsistent in regard to her identity.

For the State, the OSG maintains that the prosecution had proved the elements of the
crime charged: (1) the presence of the appellant at the scene of the crime; (2) the act of
selling one plastic sachet of shabu; and (3) the recovery of two plastic sachets
of shabu at the time of the entrapment.

The informant made the introductions and the transaction took place. Barbosa handed
the marked money to Merlie while the latter handed him one plastic sachet of shabu.
Thereafter, Merlie was immediately arrested and upon her arrest, Barbosa found two
plastic sachets in her right hand.

The laboratory examination of the crystalline substance confiscated from Merlie and
FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 27
forwarded to the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory yielded positive of
methamphetamine hydrochloride.

In short, the prosecution clearly and positively established that Merlie agreed to
sell shabu to the poseur-buyer and that the sale was consummated. Moreover, Barbosa
identified the three plastic sachets of shabu and the marked money in court. 23

We disagree with appellant's contention that inconsistencies in Barbosa's testimony are


adequate to demolish the credibility of Barbosa. The inconsistencies alluded to by the
appellant in the testimony of Barbosa are inconsequential and minor to adversely affect
his credibility.24 The inconsistencies do not detract from the fact that Barbosa positively
identified her in open court. 25 What is essential is that the prosecution witness positively
identified the appellant as the one who sold the shabu to the poseur-buyer. There is
also nothing on record that sufficiently casts doubt on the credibility of the prosecution
witness.26 More so, the lack of prior surveillance does not cast doubt on Barbosa's
credibility. We have held that a prior surveillance is not necessary especially where the
police operatives are accompanied by their informant during entrapment, as in this
case.27 Contrary to appellant's contention, the informant was present during the
entrapment.28

Note that a buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment legally employed by peace


officers as an effective way of apprehending drug dealers in the act of committing an
offense.

In light of the clear and convincing evidence of the prosecution, we find no reason to
deviate from the findings of the trial court and the appellate court.

In sum, we find no reversible error in the decisions of the trial court and the appellate
court in holding appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offenses charged.

WHEREFORE, the Decision dated April 28, 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
CR-H.C. No. 01700 finding appellant Merlie Dumangay y Sale guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crimes charged in Criminal Case Nos. 02-3568 and 02-3569 for violation of
Sections 5 and 11 of Rep. Act No. 9165 is AFFIRMED.

No pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 28
10:13 PM
G.R. No. 181747
People vs. Narciso Lopez Agulay
September 26, 2008

Facts:
Lower Courts found accused appellant guilty of illegal sale and illegal possession of
methamphetamine hydrochloride.

Accused-appellants questioned the means and method the police undertook the
operation and the credibility of the prosecution witness.

Ruling:
The dissent maintains that the chain of custody rule "would include testimony about
every link in the chain, from the moment the item was picked up to the time it is offered
into evidence x x x." This means that all persons who came into contact with the seized
drugs should testify in court; otherwise, the unbroken chain of custody would not be
established.
The Court disagree. Not all people who came into contact with the seized drugs are
required to testify in court. 

The integrity of the evidence is presumed to be preserved unless there is a showing of


bad faith, ill will, or proof that the evidence has been tampered with. The accused-
appellant in this case bears the burden to make some showing that the evidence was
tampered or meddled with to overcome a presumption of regularity in the handling of
exhibits by public officers and a presumption that public officers properly discharged
their duties.

After a thorough review of the records of the case, the court found that the chain of
custody of the seized substance was not broken and that the prosecution did not fail to
identify properly the drugs seized in this case. The non-presentation of witnesses of
other persons such as the evidence custodian and the officer on duty was not a crucial
point against the prosecution.  Unless there was proof to the contrary, the entries in the
documents are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated and they need not testify
thereon.

The Court found accused appellant guilty of the illegal sale of drugs but not of the
possession of dangerous drugs on account of the second and third sachets alleged to
have been retrieved from him after the sale of the first since it could not be done so
without being properly charged therewith.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 29
WILLIAM CHING, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.
FACTS:
This petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court
assails the Decisionof the Court of Appeals dated 27 March 2007 in CA G.R. CR HC
No. 00945 which affirmed in toto the 19 January 2004 Decision of the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 27, finding petitioner William Ching, alias Willy (Ching),
guilty of violation of Section 15, Article III of Republic Act No. 6425, as amended,
otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.
It arises when on or about October 19, 1998, at Manila, Philippines and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, a foreign
national from Amoy, China but married to a Filipina with two children, and not being
authorized by law to do so, did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously sell
and deliver to a NARGROUP "poseur-buyer" some 3,076.28 grams of
Methamphetamine Hydrochloride, a regulated drug commonly known as "SHABU", in
violation of the above-cited law during the entrapment operation.
Petitioner vigorously insist that, on the day he was arrested, a group of
men swooped down upon him and dragged him from his sister's apartment unit and
took him to a vehicle where his captors demanded a huge amount of money from him,
and after his refusal to heed to their demands, he was tortured and his captors planted
evidence against him. Without the said buy-bust or entrapment operation, there was no
valid basis for his warrantless arrest. Hence, the operatives violated his constitutional
right against warrantless arrest. He also claims that the search done in the apartment
unit was illegal since such was effected following an illegal arrest.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent’s warrantless arrest is invalid and his
allegation is true.

RULING:
In the case under consideration, there is no evidence of any improper
motive on the part of the police officers who apprehended Ching. His allegations that
the police officers beat him up in their attempt to extract money from him is belied by the
absence of any proof to that effect. He did not present any medical record that he was
physically abused. If the police officers indeed tried to extort money from Ching by
beating him up, he could have filed the proper charges against the erring police officers.
The fact that no administrative or criminal charges were filed lends cogency to the
conclusion that the alleged frame-up was merely concocted as a defense ploy. In
addition, if indeed the supposed disinterested witnesses of the defense, i.e., the
pedicabdriver and the vendor, really saw Ching being forcibly dragged by unidentified
men, they could have at least informed the local authorities of such fact. This they did
not do. Thus, the story of the defense is simply implausible. And the court observed that
drug pushers sell their prhobited articles even in daytime since what matters is not the
time and venue of the sale, but the fact of agreement and the acts constituting sale and
delivery of the prohibited drugs.
The rule is settled that an arrest made after an entrapment does not require a
warrant inasmuch as it is considered a valid warrantless arrest pursuant to Rule 113,
Section 5 (a) of the Rules of Court. Having established that the buy-bust operation is
factual and legitimate, the subsequent warrantless arrest of Ching and as well as the
warrantless seizure of the illegal drugs was permissible.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 30
SR. INSP. JERRY C. VALEROSO v. CA, GR No. 164815, 2009-09-03

Facts:

Valeroso was charged with violation of Presidential Decree No. 1866... have in his/her
possession and under his/her custody and... control

) cal. 38 "Charter Arms" revolver bearing serial no. 52315 with five (5) live ammo.

without first having secured the necessary license/permit issued by the proper
authorities.

Disuanco and his team approached Valeroso. They put him under arrest, informed him
of his constitutional rights, and bodily searched him. They found a Charter Arms
revolver, bearing Serial No. 52315, with five (5) pieces of live ammunition,... tucked in
his waist.

Upon verification in the Firearms and Explosives Division in Camp Crame, Deriquito
presented a certification[8] that the subject firearm was not issued to Valeroso,...
Valeroso, SPO3 Agustin R. Timbol, Jr. (Timbol), and Adrian Yuson testified for the
defens

He was awakened by four (4) heavily armed men in civilian attire who pointed their guns
at him and pulled him out of the... room.[10] The raiding team tied his hands and placed
him near the faucet (outside the room) then went back inside, searched and ransacked
the room. Moments later, an operative came out of the room and exclaimed, "Hoy, may
nakuha akong baril sa... loob!

Disuanco informed Valeroso that there was a standing warrant for his arrest. However,
the raiding team was not armed with a search warrant.

Issues:

is the warrantless search and seizure of the firearm and ammunition valid?

Ruling:

We answer in the negative.

The arresting officers would have been justified in searching the person of Valeroso, as
well as the tables or drawers in front of him, for any concealed weapon that might be
used against the former. But under the circumstances obtaining, there was no

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 31
comparable justification to... search through all the desk drawers and cabinets or the
other closed or concealed areas in that room itself.

In the case before us, search was made in the locked cabinet which cannot be said to
have been within Valeroso's immediate control. Thus,... the search exceeded the
bounds of what may be considered as an incident to a lawful arrest

Nor can the warrantless search in this case be justified under the "plain view doctrine."

However, in this case, the police officers did not just accidentally discover the subject
firearm and ammunition; they actually searched for evidence against Valeroso.

the search made was illegal, a violation of Valeroso's right against unreasonable search
and seizure. Consequently, the evidence obtained in violation of said right is
inadmissible in evidence against him.

Principles:

The right against unreasonable searches and seizures is secured by Section 2, Article
III of the Constitution which states:

SEC. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any
purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue
except upon... probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after
examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may
produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things
to be seized.

From this constitutional provision, it can readily be gleaned that, as a general rule, the
procurement of a warrant is required before a law enforcer can validly search or seize
the person, house, papers, or effects of any individual

"any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section... shall be


inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding.

The above proscription is not, however, absolute. The following are the well-recognized
instances where searches and seizures are allowed even without a valid warrant:

Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest;

[Seizure] of evidence in "plain view." The elements are: a) a prior valid intrusion based
on the valid warrantless arrest in which the police are legally present in the pursuit of
their official duties; b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police... who

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 32
have the right to be where they are; c) the evidence must be immediately apparent; and
d) "plain view" justified mere seizure of evidence without further search;

Search of a moving vehicle. Highly regulated by the government, the vehicle's inherent
mobility reduces expectation of privacy especially when its transit in public
thoroughfares furnishes a highly reasonable suspicion amounting to probable cause
that the... occupant committed a criminal activity;

Consented warrantless search;

Customs search;

Stop and Frisk;

Exigent and emergency circumstances.[32]

Search of vessels and aircraft; [and]

Inspection of buildings and other premises for the enforcement of fire, sanitary and
building regulations.[33]

In the exceptional instances where a warrant is not necessary to effect a valid search or
seizure, what constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable search or seizure is purely a
judicial question, determinable from the uniqueness of the circumstances involved,
including the purpose... of the search or seizure, the presence or absence of probable
cause, the manner in which the search and seizure was made, the place or thing
searched, and the character of the articles procure... ed

For one, the warrantless search could not be justified as an incident to a lawful arrest.
Searches and seizures incident to lawful arrests are governed by Section 13, Rule 126
of the Rules of Court, which reads:

SEC. 13. Search incident to lawful arrest. - A person lawfully arrested may be searched
for dangerous weapons or anything which may have been used or constitute proof in
the commission of an offense without a search warrant.

in lawful arrests, it becomes both the duty and the right of the apprehending officers to
conduct a warrantless search not only on the person of the suspect, but also in the
permissible area within the latter's reach... in lawful arrests, it becomes both the duty
and the right of the apprehending officers to conduct a warrantless search not only on
the person of the suspect, but also in the permissible area within the latter's reach.

a valid... arrest allows the seizure of evidence or dangerous weapons either on the
person of the one arrested or within the area of his immediate control.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 33
phrase "within the area of his immediate control" means the area from within which he...
might gain possession of a weapon or destructible evidence

A gun on a table or in a drawer in front of one who is arrested can be as dangerous to


the arresting officer as one concealed in the clothing of the person arrested.

who were heavily armed. They pulled him out... of the room, placed him beside the
faucet outside the room, tied his hands, and then p

The "plain view doctrine" may not be used to launch unbridled searches and
indiscriminate seizures or to extend a general exploratory search made solely to find
evidence of defendant's guilt. The doctrine is usually applied where a police officer is
not searching for evidence... against the accused, but nonetheless inadvertently comes
across an incriminating object

As enunciated in People v. Cubcubin, Jr.[50] and People v. Leangsiri:

"plain view" cases have in common is that the police officer in each of them had a prior
justification for an intrusion in the course of which[,] he came inadvertently across a
piece of evidence incriminating the accused.

serves to supplement... the prior justification - whether it be a warrant for another object,
hot pursuit, search incident to lawful arrest, or some other legitimate reason for being
present unconnected with a search directed against the accused - and permits the
warrantless seizure... the "plain view" doctrine may not be used to extend a general
exploratory search from one object to another until something... incriminating at last
emerges

Order is too high a price to pay for the loss of liberty

Because a warrantless search is in derogation of a constitutional right, peace officers


who conduct it cannot invoke regularity in the performance of official functions.[

The Bill of Rights is the bedrock of constitutional government. If people are stripped
naked of their rights as human beings, democracy cannot survive and government
becomes meaningless. This explains why the Bill of Rights, contained as it is in Article
III of the Constitution,... occupies a position of primacy in the fundamental law way
above the articles on governmental power

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 34
G.R. No. 178039               January 19, 2011
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ERNESTO UYBOCO y RAMOS

FACTS: On 20 December 1993, Nimfa and her wards, siblings Jeson Kevin and Jeson
Kirby Dichaves were abducted and brought to a house in Merville Subdivision,
Parañaque. Nimfa was able to recognized one of the kidnappers as appellant, because
she had seen the latter in her employer’s office. 14 The kidnappers called Jepson and
demanded for ransom of P26 Million. In one of the calls of the kidnappers, Jepson was
able to recognize the voice of appellant because he had several business transactions.
After, numerous times of negotiation, the parties finally agreed to a ransom of P1.5
Million, some in ash and the balance to be paid in kind, such as jewelry and a
pistol. Appellant asked Jepson to bring the ransom alone at Pancake House in
Magallanes Commercial Center and ordered him to put the bag in the trunk, leave the
trunk unlocked, and walk away for ten (10) minutes without turning back. P/Insp.
Escandor and P/Supt. Chan were assigned to proceed to Magallanes Commercial
Center and brought a camera to take photo and video coverage of the supposed pay-
off. He identified Macias together with appellant and the latter as the one who took the
ransom. Later, appellant checked on his trunk and the bag was already gone. Appellant
then apprised him that his sons and helper were already at the Shell Gasoline Station
along South Luzon Expressway. He immediately went to the place and found his sons
and helper seated at the corner of the gas station. P/Supt. Cruz and his group was
assigned at Fort Bonifacio then heard on their radio that the suspect’s vehicle, a red
Nissan Sentra was heading in their direction. A few minutes later, they saw the red car
and tailed it until it reached Dasmariñas Village in Makati. When said car slowed down,
they blocked it and immediately approached the vehicle. 23 They introduced themselves
as police officers and accosted the suspect, who turned out to be appellant. Appellant
suddenly pulled a .38 caliber revolver and a scuffle took place. They managed to
subdue appellant and handcuffed him. Appellant was requested to open the
compartment and a gray bag was found inside. P/Supt. Cruz saw money, jewelry and a
gun inside the bag.

ISSUE: Whether or not there was a valid arrest and search without warrant?

DOCTRINE: The arrest was validly executed pursuant to Section 5, paragraph (b) of
Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, which provides: “A peace officer or a private person
may, without a warrant, arrest a person: x x x; (b) When an offense has in fact been
committed and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be
arrested has committed it; and, (c) x x x.” A search incident to a lawful arrest is also
valid under Section 13, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court which states: “A person lawfully
arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may have been
used or constitute proof in the commission of an offense without a search warrant.”

RATIONALE: The instance of lawful warrantless arrest covered by paragraph (b) cited
above necessitates two stringent requirements before a warrantless arrest can be
effected: (1) an offense has just been committed; and (2) the person making the arrest
has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed
it. Records show that both requirements are present in the instant case. The police
officers present in Magallanes Commercial Center were able to witness the pay-off
which effectively consummates the crime of kidnapping. Such knowledge was then
relayed to the other police officers stationed in Fort Bonifacio where appellant was
expected to pass by. Personal knowledge of facts must be based on probable cause,
which means an actual belief or reasonable grounds of suspicion. Section 5, Rule 113
does not require the arresting officers to personally witness the commission of the
offense with their own eyes. It is sufficient for the arresting team that they were
monitoring the pay-off for a number of hours long enough for them to be informed that it
was indeed appellant, who was the kidnapper. This is equivalent to personal knowledge
based on probable cause.

Likewise, the search conducted inside the car of appellant was legal because the latter
consented to such. Even assuming that appellant did not give his consent for the police
to search the car, they can still validly do so by virtue of a search incident to a lawful

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 35
arrest under Section 13, Rule 126. In lawful arrests, it becomes both the duty and the
right of the apprehending officers to conduct a warrantless search not only on the
person of the suspect, but also in the permissible area within the latter's reach.
Therefore, it is only but expected and legally so for the police to search his car as he
was driving it when he was arrested.
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from are AFFIRMED.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 36
Martinez vs. People
690 SCRA 656, February 13, 2013

Facts: At around 9:15PM of December 29, 2007, PO2 Soque, PO2 Cepe and PO3Zeta,
conducted a routine foot patrol along Balingkit Street, Malate, Manila. In the process,
they heard a man shouting "Putanginamo! Limangdaannabaito?" Forpurportedly
violating Section 844 of the Revised Ordinance of the City of Manila which punishes
breaches of the peace, Ramon was apprehended and asked to empty his pockets. In
the course thereof, the police officers were able to recover from him a small transparent
plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance suspected to beshabu.PO2 Soque
confiscated the sachet and brought Ramon to Police Station 9. Consequently, Ramon
was charged with possession of dangerous drugs under Section 11(3), Article II of RA
9165.

In defense, Ramon denied the charge and claimed that a man in civilian clothing which
introduced himself as a police officer asked his identity. Ramon was immediately
handcuffed and brought to a precinct to be detained. Thereafter, PO2
Soquepropositioned Ramon and asked for P20,000.00 in exchange for his release. Sine
his wife was unable to produce such, he was brought to the Manila City Hall for inquest
proceedings.

Issue: Whether or not Ramon could be convicted of the crime of possession of


dangerous drugs provided that there’s warrantless search conducted.

Held: Ramon Martinez was acquitted since the subject shabu purportedly seized is
inadmissible in evidence for being the proverbial fruit of the poisonous tree.

Section 3(2), Article III of the Constitution provides that any evidence obtained in
violation of Section 2, Article III of the Constitution shall be inadmissible for any purpose
in any proceeding. However, such exclusionary rule is not absolute. The following are
the traditional exceptions: customs searches, searches of moving vehicles, seizure of
evidence in plain view, consented searches,"stop and frisk" measures andsearches
incidental to a lawful arrest. As to the last exception, it requires that the apprehending
officer must have been spurred by probable cause to arresta person caught in flagrante
delicto. The term probable causeis a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by
circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man's belief that
the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged.

Records show that PO2 Soque arrested Ramon for allegedly violating Section 844 of
the Manila City Ordinance (Breaches of the Peace), however, it cannot be said that the
act of shouting in a thickly-populated place, would constitute any of the acts punishable
under such provision. The words he allegedly shouted are not slanderous, threatening
or abusive, and thus, could not have tended to disturb the peace or excite a riot
considering that at the time of the incident. Thus, evidences negates the presence of
probable cause when the police officers conducted their warrantless arrest of Ramon.

In this regard, considering that the confiscated shabuis the very corpus delicitof the
crime charged, Ramon's acquittal should therefore come as a matter of course.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 37
PEOPLE
VS
VILLAREAL

FACTS:
- PO3 Renato de Leon was riding on his motorcycle when he saw appellant
Nazareno Villareal from an 8 to 10 meter-distance
- Villareal was then inspecting a plastic sachet containing shabu
- De Leon approached Villanueva whom he recognized as someone he had
previously arrested for illegal drug possession but the latter tried to escape
- He was apprehended with the help of a tricycle driver and was brought to the
police station
- In his defense, Villanueva was walking when a man who was riding a motorcycle
called him from behind
- He was approached, instructed not to run, then was frisked, and took his wallet
- Appellant was brought to the police station where he was detained and mauled
- He was also asked questions with a gun right beside his ear each time he failed
to answer about a stolen cellphone
- The trial court convicted appellant of illegal possession of dangerous drugs and
such was established properly through an in flagrante delicto warrantless arrest
- The appellate court sustained conviction finding a clear case of in flagrante
delicto warrantless arrest

ISSUE:

Whether or not the in flagrante warrantless arrest was valid

HELD:

Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure lays down the basic
rules on lawful warrantless arrests, either by a peace officer or a private person, as
follows:

Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. – A peace officer or a private person may,
without a warrant, arrest a person:

(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually
committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;

(b) When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to
believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person
to be arrested has committed it; and

(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal
establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily
confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from
one confinement to another.

xxx

For the warrantless arrest under paragraph (a) of Section 5 to operate, two elements
must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he
has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2)
such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer. On the

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 38
other hand, paragraph (b) of Section 5 requires for its application that at the time of the
arrest, an offense had in fact just been committed and the arresting officer had personal
knowledge of facts indicating that the appellant had committed it.

In both instances, the officer’s personal knowledge of the fact of the commission of an
offense is absolutely required. Under paragraph (a), the officer himself witnesses the
crime while under paragraph (b), he knows for a fact that a crime has just been
committed.

The Court finds it inconceivable how PO3 de Leon, even with his presumably perfect
vision, would be able to identify with reasonable accuracy, from a distance of about 8 to
10 meters and while simultaneously driving a motorcycle, a negligible and minuscule
amount of powdery substance (0.03 gram) inside the plastic sachet allegedly held by
appellant.

The factual circumstances of the case failed to show that PO3 de Leon had personal
knowledge that a crime had been indisputably committed by the appellant. It is not
enough that PO3 de Leon had reasonable ground to believe that appellant had just
committed a crime; a crime must in fact have been committed first, which does not
obtain in this case.

Without the overt act that would pin liability against appellant, it is therefore clear that
PO3 de Leon was merely impelled to apprehend appellant on account of the latter’s
previous charge for the same offense.

However, a previous arrest or existing criminal record, even for the same offense, will
not suffice to satisfy the exacting requirements provided under Section 5, Rule 113 in
order to justify a lawful warrantless arrest. "Personal knowledge" of the arresting officer
that a crime had in fact just been committed is required. To interpret "personal
knowledge" as referring to a person’s reputation or past criminal citations would create a
dangerous precedent and unnecessarily stretch the authority and power of police
officers to effect warrantless arrests based solely on knowledge of a person’s previous
criminal infractions, rendering nugatory the rigorous requisites laid out under Section 5.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 39
People v. Damaso, G.R. No. 93516, 212 SCRA 547, August 12, 1992

"Maid allowed entry into the house"

The right against unreasonable searches and seizures is a personal right.


The constitutional immunity from unreasonable searches and seizures, being personal
one, cannot be waived by anyone except 1) the person whose rights are invaded or 2)
one who is expressly authorized to do so in his or her behalf.

The group of Lt. Quijardo were sent to verify the presence of CPP/NPA members in
Dagupan City.
They put under surveillance the rented apartment of Rosemarie, sister of someone
whom they earlier arrested.
They interviewed Luzviminda Morados, a visitor of Rosemarie, who stated that she
worked with Bernie Mendoza alias Basilio Damaso, the appellant.
Together with Morados, they reached the house of Damaso where they saw Luz
Tanciangco, a helper. Tanciangco then allowed the group to enter inside the house.
The group of Lt. Quijardo entered the dwelling of Damaso without a valid warrant when
the latter was absent. They requested the persons in the house to allow them to look
around. In one of the rooms, they saw subversive materials which they confiscated.
They likewise brought the persons found in the house to the headquarters for
investigation and the persons revealed that Damaso was the lessee of the house and
owned the items confiscated.
Based on this, Damaso was charged with illegal possession of firearms.
Whether the evidence is admissible? NO.
The Court ruled that the law enforcers failed to comply with the requirements of a valid
search and seizure. None of these exceptions for a warrantless search is present in this
case.
Moreover, the constitutional immunity from unreasonable searches and seizures, being
personal one, cannot be waived by anyone except 1) the person whose rights are
invaded or 2) one who is expressly authorized to do so in his or her behalf.
In this case, the records show that Damaso was not in his house at that time Luz, his
alleged helper, allowed the authorities to enter. There was no evidence that would
establish the fact that Luz was indeed Damaso’s helper or if it was true that she was his
helper, that Damaso had given her authority to open his house in his absence.
Being a helper, she does not qualify as a person authorized to waive such right in
representation of her employer.
Thus, the search being invalid for lack of warrant, the evidence obtained thereafter is
inadmissible.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 40
Spouses Veroy v. Layague, G.R. No. L-95630, 210 SCRA 97, June 18, 1992

"Qualified consent"

The permission to enter a house and search for persons and effects may be qualified,
and the searching officer may not act in excess of the authority granted to him.
Although the offense of illegal possession of firearms is a malum prohibitum, it does not
follow that the subjects may be seized simply because they are prohibited. A search
warrant is still necessary in the context of this case.

 The Veroys moved to QC and left their house in Davao City to a caretaker who
had keys to the kitchen only. The Veroys had the keys to the interior of the house.
 Capt. Obrero raided the house based on an information that rebel soldiers are
allegedly hiding there.
 With the help of caretakers, they were able to enter only up to the yard since the
owner was not around and they did not have a search warrant.
 They contacted Mrs. Veroy, and explained that the house was reportedly being
used as a hideout and recruitment center of rebel soldiers. Mrs. Veroy then gave
permission to search the house with the condition that Major Macasaet, a long-time
family friend, must be there during the search.
 Despite the qualified consent, the officers entered various rooms, including the
children’s room, and confiscated a .45 caliber gun and other effects, which were the
basis of the charge of illegal possession of firearms against them.
 Despite the fact that the warrants for their arrest have not yet been served on
them, petitioners voluntarily surrendered themselves to Brig. Gen. Pantaleon Dumlao,
PC-CIS Chief, since it was the CIS that initiated the complaint. However, the latter
refused to receive them on the ground that his office has not yet received copies of their
warrants of arrest.
 The Spouses Veroy assailed the admissibility of the evidence for being obtained
in violation of their constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.
Whether the evidence is admissible? NO.
 Petitioners alleged that while Capt. Obrero had permission to enter their house, it
was merely for the purpose of ascertaining the presence of the alleged "rebel" soldiers.
The permission did not include the authority to conduct a room to room search inside
the house. The items taken were, therefore, products of an illegal search, violative of
their constitutional rights. As such, they are inadmissible in evidence against them.
 The Court ruled that the case at bar does not fall on the exceptions for a
warrantless search. The reason for searching the house is that it was reportedly being
used as a hideout and recruitment center for rebel soldiers. While Capt. Obrero was
able to enter the yard, he did not enter the house because he did not have a search
warrant and the owners were not present. This shows that he himself recognized the
need for a search warrant, hence, he did not persist in entering the house but rather
contacted the Veroys to seek permission to enter the same. Permission was granted by
Mrs. Veroy to enter the house but only to ascertain the presence of rebel soldiers.
 Under the circumstances the police officers had time to procure a search warrant
but they did not.
 The Court also ruled that although the offense of illegal possession of firearms is
a malum prohibitum, it does not follow that the subjects may be seized simply because
they are prohibited. A search warrant is still necessary.
 The rule having been violated and no exception being applicable, the articles
seized were confiscated illegally and are therefore protected by the exclusionary
principle. They cannot be used as evidence against the petitioners in the criminal action
against them for illegal possession of firearms.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 41
People vs. Lacerna (1997)
Subject:
Exceptions to the rule against warrantless arrest; Search of luggage inside a
vehicle requires existence of probable cause; Consented search valid if intelligently
made; To be punishable, to “give away” a prohibited drug should be with the intent to
transfer ownership; Elements of illegal sale of prohibited drugs; Criminal intent need not
be proved in prosecution of acts mala prohibita ; Intent to perpetrate the act, not intent
to commit the crime necessary in prosecution of acts prohibited by special laws
Facts:
Noriel and Marlon Lacerna were inside a taxi when the group of Police Officer
Carlito Valenzuela of the Western Police District signaled the taxi driver to park by the
side of the road in lieu of a police checkpoint. P03 Valenzuela asked permission to
search the vehicle. The officers went about searching the luggages in the vehicle. They
found 18 blocks wrapped in newspaper with a distinct smell of marijuana emanating
from it. When the package was opened, P03 Valenzuela saw dried marijuana leaves.
According to Noriel and Marlon, the bag was a “padala” of their uncle. Marlon admitted
that he was the one who gave the 18 bundle blocks of marijuana to his cousin Noriel as
the latter seated at rear of the taxi with it. He however denied knowledge of the
contents of the package.
Marlon was charged before the RTC for “giving away” marijuana to another.
Noriel on the other hand was acquitted for insufficiency of evidence. The court noticed
that Noriel manifested “probinsyano” traits and was, thus, unlikely to have dealt in
prohibited drugs.
Marlon objected on the RTC’s decision, stating that the lower court erred in
saying that the act of “giving away to another” is not defined under R.A. 6425 or the
Dangerous Drugs Act. He also said that he was not aware of the contents of the plastic
bag given to him by his uncle. Marlon also raised that his right against warrantless
arrest and seizure was violated.

Held:
Exceptions to the rule against warrantless arrest
1. Five generally accepted exceptions to the rule against warrantless arrest have been
judicially formulated as follows:
(1) search incidental to a lawful arrest
(2) search of moving vehicles
(3) seizure in plain view,
(4) customs searches,
(5) waiver by the accused themselves of their right against unreasonable search
and seizure.
2. Search and seizure relevant to moving vehicles are allowed in recognition of the
impracticability of securing a warrant under said circumstances. In such cases,
however, the search and seizure may be made only upon probable cause, i.e., upon a
belief, reasonably arising out of circumstances known to the seizing officer, that an
automobile or other vehicle contains an item, article or object which by law is subject to
seizure and destruction. Military or police checkpoints have also been declared to be
not illegal per se as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected
to body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is merely visual.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 42
Search of luggage inside a vehicle requires existence of probable cause
3. In this case, the taxi was validly stopped at the police checkpoint. Such search
however is limited to visual inspections without occupants being subjected to a physical
or body searches. A search of a luggage inside the vehicle should require the existence
of probable cause.
4. In several decisions, there was probable cause in the following instances:
(a) where the distinctive odor of marijuana emanated from the plastic bag carried
by the accused
(b) where an informer positively identified the accused who was observed to
have been acting suspiciously
(c) where the accused fled when accosted by policemen
(d) where the accused who were riding a jeepney were stopped and searched by
policemen who had earlier received confidential reports that said accused would
transport a large quantity of marijuana
(e) where the moving vehicle was stopped and searched on the basis of
intelligence information and clandestine reports by a deep penetration agent or spy
one who participated in the drug smuggling activities of the syndicate to which the
accused belonged that said accused were bringing prohibited drugs into the
country.
5. Probable cause in this case is not evident. The mere act of slouching in the seat
when the taxi passed along P03 Valenzuela’s checkpoint does not constitute probable
cause to justify search and seizure.
Consented search valid if intelligently made
6. Aniag, Jr. vs. COMELEC outlawed a search based on an implied acquiescence,
because such acquiescence was not consent within the purview of the constitutional
guaranty, but was merely passive conformity to the search given under intimidating and
coercive circumstances.
7. In this case, Marlon was "urbanized in mannerism and speech" when he expressly
said that he was consenting to the search as he allegedly had nothing to hide and had
done nothing wrong. This declaration is a confirmation of his intelligent and voluntary
acquiescence to the search. The marijuana bricks were, therefore, obtained legally
through a valid search and seizure, thus admissible.
To be punishable, to “give away” a prohibited drug should be with the intent to
transfer ownership
8. As distinguished from "delivery," which is an incident of sale, "giving away" is a
disposition other than a sale. It is, therefore, an act short of a sale which involves no
consideration. The prohibited drug becomes an item or merchandise presented as a gift
or premium (giveaway), where ownership is transferred. 
9. By merely handing the plastic bag to Noriel, Marlon cannot be punished for giving
away marijuana as a gift or premium to another. Intent to transfer ownership should be
proven.
Elements of illegal sale of prohibited drugs
10. The elements of illegal possession of prohibited drugs are as follows
(a) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a
prohibited drug
(b) such possession is not authorized by law
(c) the accused freely and consciously possessed the prohibited drug.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 43
11. Evidence established beyond reasonable doubt that Marlon was in possession of
the plastic bag containing the prohibited drugs without the requisite authority. He cannot
deny knowledge of the package as its smell is pervasive.
Criminal intent need not be proved in prosecution of acts mala prohibita
12. Criminal intent need not be proved in the prosecution of acts mala prohibita. The
prohibited act is so injurious to the public welfare that, regardless of the person's intent,
it is the crime itself.
Intent to perpetrate the act, not intent to commit the crime necessary in
prosecution of acts prohibited by special laws
13. Intent to commit the crime and intent to perpetrate the act must be distinguished. A
person may not have consciously intended to commit a crime; but if he did intend to
commit an act, and that act is, by the very nature of things, the crime itself, then he can
be held liable for the malumprohibitum.
14. The rule is that in acts mala in se there must be a criminal intent, but in those mala
prohibita it is sufficient if the prohibited act was intentionally done. Thus in illegal
possession of prohibited drugs, the prosecution is thus not excused from proving that
the act was done “freely and consciously”, which is an essential element of the crime.
15. In this case, Marlon failed to overcome the presumption of his knowledge of the
contents of the package. He was thus held liable for illegal possession of prohibited
drugs.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 44
G.R. No. 124442 People v. Compacion July 20, 2001

Kapunan, J.

FACTS:

- A criminal complaint for violation of Section 9, Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise
known as The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 as amended by Republic Act No. 7659
was filed against Compacion. On 2 January 1996, the trial court convicted Compacion
of the crime charged, and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of
P500,000.00.

- Acting on a confidential tip supplied by a police informant that Armando


Compacio y Surposa was growing and cultivating marijuana plants, SPO1 Gilbert L.
Linda and SPO2 Basilio Sarong of the 6th Narcotic Regional Field Unit of the Narcotics
Command (NARCOM) of the Bacolod City Detachment conducted a surveillance of the
residence of Compacion who was then the barangay captain of barangay Bagonbon,
San Carlos City, Negros Occidental on 9 July 1995.
- During the said surveillance, they saw 2 tall plants in the backyard of Compacion
which they suspected to be marijuana plants. SPO1 Linda and SPO2 Sarong reported
the result of their surveillance to SPO4 Ranulfo T. Villamor, Jr., Chief of NARCOM,
Bacolod City, who immediately formed a team composed of the members of the
Intelligence Division Provincial Command, the Criminal Investigation Command and the
Special Action Force. Two members of the media, one from DYWF Radio and another
from DYRL Radio, were also included in the composite team.

- On 12 July 1995, the team applied for a search warrant with the office of
Executive Judge Bernardo Ponferrada in Bacolod City. However, Judge Ponferrada
informed them that he did not have territorial jurisdiction over the matter. The team then
left Bacolod City for San Carlos City. They arrived there around 6:30 p.m., then went to
the house of Executive Judge Roberto S. Javellana to secure a search warrant. They
were not able to do so because it was nighttime and office hours were obviously over.
They were told by the judge to go back in the morning.

- Nonetheless, the team proceeded to barangay Bagonbon and arrived at the


residence of Compacion in the early morning of 13 July 1995. SPO4 Villamor knocked
at the gate and called out for Compacion. What happened thereafter is subject to
conflicting accounts.
- The prosecution contends that Compacion opened the gate and permitted them
to come in. He was immediately asked by SPO4 Villamor about the suspected
marijuana plants and he admitted that he planted and cultivated the same for the use of
his wife who was suffering from migraine. SPO4 Villamor then told him that he would be
charged for violation of Section 9 of RA 6425 and informed him of his constitutional
rights. The operatives then uprooted the suspected marijuana plants. SPO1 Linda
conducted an initial field test of the plants by using the Narcotics Drug Identification Kit.
The test yielded a positive result.
- On 15 July 1995, the plants were turned over to the Philippine National Police
(PNP) Crime Laboratory, Bacolod City Police Command, particularly to Senior Inspector
Reah Abastillas Villavicencio. Senior Inspector Villavicencio weighed and measured the
FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 45
plants, one was 125 inches and weighed 700 grams while the other was 130 inches and
weighed 900 grams. Three (3) qualitative examinations were conducted, namely: the
microscopic test, the chemical test, and the thin layer chromatographic test. All yielded
positive results.

- On his part, Compacion maintains that around 1:30 a.m. on 13 July 1995 while
he and his family were sleeping, he heard somebody knocking outside his house. He
went down bringing with him a flashlight. After he opened the gate, 4 persons who he
thought were members of the military, entered the premises then went inside the house.
It was dark so he could not count the others who entered the house as the same was lit
only by a kerosene lamp. One of the four men told him to sit in the living room. Some of

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 46
G.R. No. 124442 People v. Compacion July 20, 2001

the men went upstairs while the others went around the house. None of them asked for
his permission to search his house and the premises. After about 20 minutes of
searching, the men called him outside and brought him to the backyard. One of the
military men said: "Captain, you have a (sic) marijuana here at your backyard" to which
Compacion replied: "I do not know that they were (sic) marijuana plants but what I know
is that they are medicinal plants for my wife" who was suffering from migraine. After he
was informed that the plants in his backyard were marijuana, the men took pictures of
him and themselves. Thereafter, he was brought inside the house where he and the
military men spent the night.

- At around 10:00 a.m., they brought him with them to the city hall. Compacion saw
that one of the 2 service vehicles they brought was fully loaded with plants. He was later
told by the military men that said plants were marijuana.
- Upon arrival at the city hall, the men met with the mayor and then unloaded the
alleged marijuana plants. A picture of him together with the arresting team was taken
with the alleged marijuana as back drop. Soon thereafter, he was taken to Hda. Socorro
at the SAF Headquarters.

ISSUE(s):

W/N Compacion's right against unreasonable search and seizure was violated. YES

HELD:

- Sections 2 and 3 [2], Article III of the 1987 Constitution are safeguards against
reckless, malicious and unreasonable invasion of privacy and liberty. A search and
seizure, therefore, must be carried out through or with a judicial warrant; otherwise,
such search and seizure becomes "unreasonable" within the meaning of the
constitutional provision. Evidence secured thereby, i.e., the "fruits" of the search and
seizure, will be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding."
- The requirement that a warrant must be obtained from the proper judicial
authority prior to the conduct of a search and seizure is, however, not absolute. There
are several instances when the law recognizes exceptions, such as when the owner of
the premises consents or voluntarily submits to a search; when the owner of the
premises waives his right against such incursion; when the search is incidental to a
lawful arrest; when it is made on vessels and aircraft for violation of customs laws; when
it is made on automobiles for the purpose of preventing violations of smuggling or
immigration laws; when it involves prohibited articles in plain view; when it involves a
"stop and frisk" situation; when the search is under exigent and emergency
circumstances; or in cases of inspection of buildings and other premises for the
enforcement of fire, sanitary and building regulations. In these instances, a search may
be validly made even without a warrant.
- Herein, the search and seizure conducted by the composite team in the house of
accused-appellant was not authorized by a search warrant, It does not appear either

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 47
that the situation falls under any of the above mentioned cases. Consequently,
Compacion's right against unreasonable search and seizure was clearly violated.

- As a general rule, objects in the "plain view" of an officer who has the right to be
in the position to have that view are subject to seizure without a warrant. It is usually
applied where a police officer is not searching for evidence against the accused, but
nonetheless inadvertently comes across an incriminating object. Thus, the following
elements must be present before the doctrine may be applied: (a) a prior valid intention
based on the valid warrantless arrest in which the police are legally present in the
pursuit of their official duties; (b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the
police who have the right to be where they are; (c) the evidence must be immediately
apparent; and (d) "plain view" justified were seizure

G.R. No. 124442 People v. Compacion July 20, 2001

of evidence without further search. Here, there was no valid warrantless arrest. They
forced their way into Compacion's premises without the latter's consent.

- It is undisputed that the NARCOM agents conducted a surveillance of the


residence of Compacion on 9 July 1995 on the suspicion that he was growing and
cultivating marijuana when they allegedly came in "plain view" of the marijuana plants.
When the agents entered his premises on 13 July 1995, their intention was to seize the
evidence against him. In fact, they initially wanted to secure a search warrant but could
not simply wait for one to be issued. The NARCOM agents, therefore, did not come
across the marijuana plants inadvertently when they conducted a surveillance and
barged into Compacion's residence.

- As held in People v. Musa, the "plain view" doctrine may not be used to launch
unbridled searches and indiscriminate seizures nor to extend a general exploratory
search made solely to find evidence of defendant's guilt. The "plain view" doctrine is
usually applied where a police officer is not searching for evidence against the accused,
but nonetheless inadvertently comes across an incriminating object.

- Hence, Compacion is acquitted of the crime to which he was charged.

DOCTRINE(s)/KEY POINT(s):

- Search and Seizure; When Unreasonable; Effect Thereof.

o The relevant constitutional provisions are found in Sections 2 and 3 [2], Article III of
the 1987 Constitution which read as follows: Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure
in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and
seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search
warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined
personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant
and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched
and the persons or things to be seized. Sec. 3. . . . (2) Any evidence obtained in
FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 48
violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any
proceeding.

o Said constitutional provisions are safeguards against reckless, malicious and


unreasonable invasion of privacy and liberty.

o It is deference to one's personality that lies at the core of this right, but it could be also
looked upon as a recognition of a constitutionally protected area, primarily one's home,
but not necessarily thereto confined. What is sought to be guarded is a man's
prerogative to choose who is allowed entry to his residence. In that haven of refuge, his
individuality can assert itself not only in the choice of who shall be welcome but likewise
in the kind of objects he wants around him. There the state, however powerful, does not
as such have access except under the circumstances above noted, for in the traditional
formulation, his house, however humble, is his castle. Thus is outlawed any
unwarranted intrusion by government, which is called upon to refrain from any invasion
of his dwelling and to respect the privacies of his life.

o The embodiment of "a spiritual concept: the belief that to value the privacy of home
and person and to afford its constitutional protection against the long reach of
government is no less than to value human dignity, and that his privacy must not be
disturbed except in case of overriding social need, and then only under stringent
procedural safeguards."

o A search and seizure, therefore, must be carried out through or with a judicial warrant;
otherwise, such search and seizure becomes "unreasonable" within the meaning of the
constitutional provision. Evidence secured thereby, i.e., "fruits" of the search and
seizure, will be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding."

- Judicial Warrant Required; Exceptions.

G.R. No. 124442 People v. Compacion July 20, 2001

o There are several instances when the law recognizes exceptions, such as when
the owner of the premises consents or voluntarily submits to a search; when the owner
of the premises waives his rights against such incursion; when the search is incidental
to a lawful arrest; when it is made on vessels and aircraft for violation of customs laws;
when it is made on automobiles for the purpose of preventing violations of smuggling or
immigration laws; when it involves prohibited articles in plain view; when it involves a
"stop and frisk" situation; when the search is under exigent and emergency
circumstances; or in cases of inspection of buildings and other premises for the
enforcement of fire, sanitary and building regulations. In these instances, a search may
be validly made even without a warrant.

- Valid Waiver Thereof must be Made Voluntarily, Knowingly and Intelligently

o While the right to be secure from unreasonable search and seizure may, like
every right, be waived
FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 49
either expressly or impliedly, such waiver must constitute a valid waiver made
voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently.

o Absent in case at bar: The act of the accused-appellant in allowing the members
of the military to enter his premises and his consequent silence during the unreasonable
search and seizure could not be construed as voluntary submission or an implied
acquiescence to warrantless search and seizure especially so when members of the
raiding team were intimidatingly numerous and heavily armed. His implied
acquiescence, if any, could not have been more than mere passive conformity given
under coercive or intimidating circumstances and is, thus, considered no consent at all
within the purview of the constitutional guarantee. Consequently, herein accused
appellant's lack of objection to the search and seizure is not tantamount to a waiver of
his constitutional right or a voluntary submission to the warrantless search and seizure.

- Objects in The "Plain View" of an Officer Who Has The Right to be in The
Position to Have That View are Subject to Seizure Without a Warrant; When Applicable.
o It is usually applied where a police officer is not searching for evidence against
the accused, but

nonetheless inadvertently comes across an incriminating object.

o Thus, the following elements must be present before the doctrine may be
applied: (a) a prior valid intention based on the valid warrantless arrest in which the
police are legally present in the pursuit of their official duties; (b) the evidence was
inadvertently discovered by the police who have the right to be where they are; (c) the
evidence must be immediately apparent; and (d) "plain view" justified were seizure of
evidence without further search.

- Warrantless Arrest

o Not valid in case at bar: They forced their way into accused-appellant's premises
without the latter's consent. It is undisputed that the NARCOM agents conducted a
surveillance of the residence of accused-appellant on July 9, 1995 on the suspicion that
he was growing and cultivating marijuana when they allegedly came in "plain view" of
the marijuana plants. When the agents entered his premises on July 13, 1995, their
intention was to seize the evidence against him. In fact, they initially wanted to secure a
search warrant but could not simply wait for one to be issued. The NARCOM

agents, therefore, did not come across the marijuana plants inadvertently when they
conducted a surveillance and barged into accused-appellant's residence.

o It was not even apparent to the members of the composite team whether the
plants involved herein were indeed marijuana plants. After said plants were uprooted,
SPO1 Linda had to conduct a field test on said plants by using a Narcotics Drug
Identification Kit to determine if the same were indeed marijuana plants. Later, Senior
Inspector Villavicencio, a forensic chemist, had to conduct three (3) qualitative
examinations to determine if the plants were indeed marijuana.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 50
G.R. No. 124442 People v. Compacion July 20, 2001

o Since the evidence was secured on the occasion of an unreasonable search and
seizure, the same is tainted and illegal and should therefore be excluded for being the
proverbial fruit of a poisonous tree.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 51
Topic: ARRESTS, SEARCHES AND SEIZURES (WARRANTLESS SEARCHES -
Valid Waiver)
Title: PEOPLE vs ASIS
Reference: GR No. 142531 October 15, 2002

FACTS
Danilo Asis y Fonperada and Gilbert Formento y Saricon were charged in an
Information; the information stating "That on or about February 10, 1998, in the City of
Manila, Philippines, the said accused, conspiring and confederating together and
mutually helping each other, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with
intent to gain and by means of force and violence upon person, to wit: by then and there
stabbing one YU HING GUAN @ ROY CHING with a bladed instrument on the different
parts of the body thereafter take, rob and carry away the following, to wit: Cash money
in the amount of P20,000.00; 1 wristwatch' 1 gold necklace; and undetermined items; or
all in the total amount of P20,000.00 more or less, belonging to said YU HING GUAN @
ROY CHING against his will, to the damage and prejudice of the said owner in the
aforesaid amount more or less of P20,000.00, Philippine Currency, and as a result
thereof, he sustained mortal stab wounds which were the direct and immediate cause of
his death." When arraigned, both accused pleaded not guilty. Found to be deaf-mutes,
they were assisted, not only by a counsel de oficio, but also by an interpreter from the
Calvary Baptist Church. The prosecution presented 9 witnesses. Although none of them
had actually seen the crime committed, strong and substantial circumstantial evidence
presented by them attempted to link both accused to the crime.
After due trial, both accused were found guilty and sentenced to death. RTC of
Manila held that the "crime charged and proved is robbery with homicide under Article
294, No. 1 of the RPC," ruled that "although no witnesses to the actual killing and
robbery were presented, the circumstantial evidence including the recovery of
bloodstained clothing from both accused definitely proved that the two (2) committed the
crime," and appreciated the aggravating circumstances of abuse of confidence, superior
strength and treachery and thus sentenced both accused to the supreme penalty of
death.
Hence, the automatic review before the Supreme Court. Both the accused do not
question the legality of their arrest, as they made no objection thereto before the
arraignment, but object to the introduction of the bloodstained pair of shorts allegedly
recovered from the bag of Formento; arguing that the search was illegally done, making
the obtainment of the pair of shorts illegal and taints them
as inadmissible. The prosecution, on the other hand, contends that it was Formento's
wife who voluntarily surrendered the bag that contained the bloodstained trousers of the
victim, and thus claims that her act constituted a valid consent to the search without a
warrant.

ISSUES
Whether or not Formento, a deaf-mute, has given consent to the recovery of the
bloodstained pair of short, in his possession during the warrantless search?

RULINGS
NO. Primarily, the constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures,
being a personal one, cannot be waived by anyone except the person whose rights are
invaded or who is expressly authorized to do so on his or her behalf. In the present
case, the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses show that at the time the

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 52
bloodstained pair of shorts was recovered, Formento, together with his wife and mother,
was present.
Being the very subject of the search, necessarily, he himself should have given
consent. Since he was physically present, the waiver could not have come from any
other person. Lopez vs. Commissioner of Customs does not apply as the accused
therein was not present when the search was made.
Further, to constitute a valid waiver, it must be shown that first, the right exists;
second, the person involved had knowledge, actual or constructive, of the existence of
such a right; and third, the person had an actual intention to relinquish the right. Herein,
Formento could not have consented to a warrantless search when, in the first place, he
did not understand what was happening at that moment. There was no interpreter to
assist him -- a deaf-mute -- during the arrest, search and seizure. The point in the case
Pasion vda. de Garcia v. Locsin, i.e. "as the constitutional guaranty is not dependent
upon any affirmative act of the citizen, the courts do not place the citizen in the position
of either contesting an officer’s authority by force, or waiving his constitutional rights; but
instead they hold that a peaceful submission to a search or seizure is not a consent or
an invitation thereto, but is merely a demonstration of regard for the supremacy of the
law," becomes even more pronounced in the present case, in which Formento is a deaf-
mute, and there was no interpreter to explain to him what was happening. His seeming
acquiescence to the search without a warrant may be attributed to plain and simple
confusion and ignorance. The bloodstained pair of shorts was a piece of evidence
seized on the occasion of an unlawful search and seizure. Thus, it is tainted and should
thus be excluded for being the proverbial fruit of the poisonous tree. In the language of
the fundamental law, it shall be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any
proceeding. Lastly, as to evidence vis-a-is the case in its totality, circumstantial
evidence that merely arouses suspicions or gives room for conjecture is not sufficient to
convict. It must do more than just raise the possibility, or even the probability, of guilt. It
must engender moral certainty. Otherwise, the constitutional presumption of innocence
prevails, and the accused deserves acquittal.

FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 53
FELICIANA L. MORGAN
CONSTI LAW II Page 54