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People vs.

Valeriano Amestuzo, Federico Ampatin, Albino Bagas (accused- appellant)


and Diascoro Vinas – GR 104383, July 12, 2001

FACTS

This is an appeal from the decision of the Caloocan RTC Branch 131 convicting the accused of the complex
crime of robbery with a bad and double rape.

On February 1991, a group of 8 men entered the house of Perlita Lacsamana and stole valuables amounting to
Php728K. In the course of the robbery, 2 gang members raped Lacsamana's niece and employee.

Four days after the incident, the police, together with Federico Ampatin, went to a handicrafts factory in NIA
Road, Pasay City to look for a certain “Mario”. The police ordered the factory workers to lie down and, after some
threats and hitting him on the neck with the butt of a pistol, told Ampatin to point at anyone (“magturo ka ng kahit
sino”). Ampatin, out of fear, pointed at the first person that he saw, who was the accused-appellant. The police
thereafter brought the accused to the police station to be presented to the complainants.

At the station, Lacsamana asked the accused-appellant if he knew Vinas and Amestuzo, but he answered in the
negative. Then the police told the complainants that the accused-appellant was a suspect in the robbery so the
complainants started hitting and kicking the accused-appellant. They only stopped when the police intervened.

ISSUES

(1) Whether the accused was deprived of the right to counsel from the time he was arrested to the time he
was presented to the witnesses for identification.
(2) Whether the manner of out-of-court identification was irregular and, therefore, inadmissible in court.

HELD

(1) NO. The guarantees of sec. 12 (1) of the Bill of Rights or the so-called Miranda rights of the accused
may only be invoked while he is under custodial investigation. Custodial investigation begins from the
time when the police no longer ask general questions about the crime, but start focusing on the suspect
and attempt to elicit incriminating questions in the course of the investigation. The object of the Miranda
rights is to ensure that the accused is protected from possible intimidation or coercion from law
enforcement officers who may force him to admit to a crime that he did not commit.

The police line-up is not yet included in the custodial investigation as it is the witnesses who are asked
questions during the line-up. In this regard, the inquiry has not yet shifted from investigatory to
accusatory. Moreover, during the line-up, there was no evidence that the accused was interrogated by
the police, nor were there any incriminating statements elicited from him.

(2) YES. There is no law prescribing a specific manner of identification in criminal cases. A police line-up is,
therefore, an acceptable way for the complainants to identify the suspect in a crime. However, the court
also applies the circumstances test enunciated in the case of People vs. Teehankee, which had the
following factors:

1. the witness's opportunity to view criminal at the time of the crime


2. the witness's degree of attention at that time
3. the accuracy of any prior description given by the witness
4. the level of certaintydemonstrated by the witness at the time of the identification
5. the length of time between the crime and the identification
6. the suggestiveness of the identification process

The Court found that the out-of-court identification in this case failed the last criterion because of the
police's announcement to the complainants that the accused-appellant was a suspect in the crime. This
was considered improperly suggestive because it was not the complainants themselves who pointed to
or identified the accused-appellant. There was, therefore, no spontaneity nor objectivity in the
identification.
People vs. Pablito Andan – GR 116437, March 3, 1997

FACTS

The accused-appellant was accused of the complex crime of rape with homicide. When he was interrogated by
the police, he claimed he was only acting as a look-out for his two neighbors who he claimed were the
perpetrators and showed the police where they hid the victim's belongings. At that time, Mayor Trinidad of
Baliuag and media representatives were in the station, awaiting the results of the investigation. When the
accused-appellant saw Mayor Trinidad, he asked to speak with the Mayor in private. The Mayor led the appellant
to the office of the Chief of Police, where they had a closed-door conversation, and it was then that he confessed
to the Mayor that he was indeed the one who committed the crime.

Later on, the Mayor opened the door and asked the appellant to repeat his confession to the media
representatives. Although there was no lawyer present, the appellant freely confessed to the media when he was
interviewed about the crime. These interviews were videotaped and photographed. However, on arraignment,
the accused-appellant entered a plea of “not guilty”.

ISSUES

(1) Whether the appellant's extrajudicial confession to the police was admissible in court.
(2) Whether the appellant's extrajudicial confession to the Mayor and the media is admissible in court.

HELD

(1) NO. It was admitted that the accused-appellant was not apprised of his Miranda rights and his
confession to police was made without the assistance of counsel. The accused-appellant should have
been entitled to the following rights under sec. 12 of the Bill of Rights:

1. to remain silent
2. to have competent and independent counsel of his choice
3. to be informed of such rights

These rights may only be waived (1) voluntarily, (2) expressly, (3) in the presence of counsel and (4) in
writing.

Likewise, since the victim's belongings were found based on this invalid extrajudicial confession, they
should also be inadmissible in court since such evidence are the fruits of the poisonous tree.

(2) YES, because he made his confession to the mayor and the media freely, spontaneously and voluntarily.
There was no evidence either that the mayor or the media were under duress or influenced by the police
to elicit a confession from the accused. As for the accused, he reiterated the same confession to the
media when they repeatedly interviewed him to get his side of the story. The accused did not protest to
those interviews, even when he had every opportunity to do so as they were conducted on separate
days.

The Court reiterated that the Bill of Rights only protects the individual from undue interference of the State and
its agents. It does not concernd itself with the relations of private individuals. In the case of the accused, his
confession to the mayor and news reporters who were private individuals, thereby making his extrajudicial
confession to them admissible in court.
People vs. Juanito Baloloy – GR140740, April 12, 2002

FACTS

The dead body of 11-year-old Genelyn Camacho was found by the accused-appellant in a nearby creek, while
he was catching some frogs. Those who arrived at the scene also found a black rope. During the wake, Brgy.
Captain Ceniza asked the visitors if any one of them owned the black rope found on the crime scene. The
accused-appellant claimed it was his.

The Brgy. Captain took the accused-appellant and asked him why his rope was found on the scene. The
accused-appellant then confessed that he was the one who raped and killed Genelyn. When she announced this
to everyone at the wake, they became unruly so she turned over the accused-appellant to the police for his own
protection.

On the day of the trial, after Judge Dicon read the affidavit of Brgy. Captain Ceniza, he asked the accused-
appellant if he was indeed guilty of the crime charged. The accused-appellant replied that he was “demonized”
when he committed the crime. He was convicted of the crime of rape with homicide based on his extrajudicial
confession to Brgy. Captain Ceniza and Judge Dicon and sentenced to death.

ISSUE

Whether the accused's extrajudicial confession to Brgy. Captain Ceniza and Judge Dicon violated his right
against self-incrimination.

HELD

NO, as far as his confession to Ceniza is concerned. When the accused admitted ownership of the rope and
confessed the commission of the crime to Ceniza, he did so voluntarily, free of coercion or control from the
authorities. He also confessed before he was arrested or placed under investigation. What is prohibited by the
Constitution is the compulsory disclosure of information that would incriminate the accused while he is in the
custody of the authorities.

As for his confession to Judge Dicon, it was deemed inadmissible as evidence because Judge Dicon failed to
inform him of his rights before he made the confession. Moreover, it was done without the assistance of counsel.
It was held that the rights of the accused become operative once custodial investigation starts, which actually
begins from the time the accused is arrested or voluntarily surrenders to the police. The accused was already in
the custody of the police at the time he made his confession to Judge Dicon. Furthermore, even if no complaint
was yet filed against the accused at that time, the judge should still have honored the rights of the accused
under the Bill of Rights.

However, his confession to the judge is not entirely useless as those who witnessed the confession may still
testify to this verbal admission by the accused.
People vs. Joselito del Rosario – GR 127755, April 14, 1999

FACTS

The accused-appellant was convicted of the robbery with homicide and sentenced to death. The conviction of
the accused was based on the testimony of a tricycle driver who claimed that the accused was the one who
drove the tricycle, which the suspects used as their get-away vehicle. The accused was then invited by the
police for questioning and he pointed to the location where he dropped off the suspects. When the police arrived
at the supposed hide-out, a shooting incident ensued, resulting to the death of some of the suspects.

After the incident, the accused was taken back to the precint where his statement was taken on May 14, 1996.
However, this was only subscribed on May 22, 1996 and the accused was made to execute a waiver of detention
in the presence of Ex-Judge Talavera. It was noted that the accused was handcuffed through all this time upon
orders of the fiscal and based on the authorities' belief that the accused might attempt to escape otherwise.

ISSUES

(1) Whether the Miranda rights of the accused-appellant were violated.


(2) Whether the warrantless arrest of the accused-appellant was lawful.

HELD

(1) YES. It was established that the accused was not apprised of his rights to remain silent and to have
competent and independent counsel in the course of the investigation. The Court held that the accused
should always be apprised of his Miranda rights from the moment he is arrested by the authorities as
this is deemed the start of custodial investigation. In fact, the Court included “invitations” by police
officers in the scope of custodial investigations.

It is evident in this case that when the police invited the accused-appellant to the station, he was already
considered as the suspect in the case. Therefore, the questions asked of him were no longer general inquiries
into an unsolved crime, but were intended to elicit information about his participation in the crime.

However, the Miranda rights may be waived, provided that the waiver is voluntary, express, in writing and made
in the presence of counsel. Unfortunately, the prosecution failed to establish that the accused made such a
waiver.

(2) NO. There are certain situations when authorities may conduct a lawful warrantless arrest: (a) when the
accused is caught in flagrante delicto; (b) when the arrest is made immediately after the crime was
committed; and © when the one to be arrested is an escaped convict. The arrest of the accused in this
case did not fall in any of these exceptions. The arrest was not conducted immediately after the
consummation of the crime; rather, it was done a day after. The authorities also did not have personal
knowledge of the facts indicating that the person to be arrested had committed the offense because they
were not there when the crime was committed. They merely relied on the account of one eyewitness.

Unfortunately, athough the warrantless arrest was not lawful, this did not affect the jurisdiction of the Court in this
case because the accused still submitted to arraignment despite the illegality of his arrest. In effect, he waived
his right to contest the legality of the warrantless arrest.
People vs. Bernardino Domantay – GR 130612, May 11, 1999

FACTS

The accused was convicted of rape with homicide for the death of 6-year-old Jennifer Domantay and sentenced
to death. Hence, this automatic review by the SC.

When he was brought to the Malasiqui police station for questioning, SPO1 Espinoza informed the accused of
his Miranda rights in English, which was later translated to Pangasinense. Then, Espinoza claimed that the
accused admitted committing the crime and even told him where he hid the bayonet, which he used to stab the
victim. Espinoza admitted that during this whole time, the accused was not assisted by counsel, neither was the
accused's confession made in writing.

Meanwhile, Celso Manuel, a radio reporter of DPWR, interviewed the accused after he was approached by the
victim's father regarding the case. Manuel conducted the interview in the jail, which was about three meters
away from the police station, and the victim's uncle, along with two police officers who were standing three
meters away, accompanied him then. In the interview, the accused admitted that he was the one who committed
the crime and claimed that he did it out of revenge because of a boundary dispute with the victim's parents.

On arraignment, the accused pleaded “not guilty” and denied the allegations against him.

ISSUE

Whether the accused's confessions to SPO1 Espinoza and Manuel are admissible in court.

HELD

YES, as far as his confession to Manuel is concerned because it was a spontaneous and voluntary act on the
part of the accused. Likewise, it was not shown that the interview was conducted to elicit incriminating
information from the accused. On the contrary, the media is known for exposing the anomalies of the
government, if any; more often than not, they will take an “anti-government” stance.

However, his confession to SPO1 Espinoza and even the bayonet, which the accused used in killing the victim,
could not be admissible as evidence in court. Espinoza contended that the accused waived his right to counsel
before making his extrajudicial confession. The Court found that the waiver did not conform to the following
requirements: (a) voluntary; (b) express; © in the presence of counsel and (d) in writing. Therefore, since it
was not a valid waiver, the accused's extrajudicial confession could not be used as evidence against the
accused.

People vs. Edward Endino and Gerry Galgarin (accused-appellant) – GR 133026,


February 20, 2001

FACTS

Edward Endino, with the aid of his uncle Gerry Galgarin, were charged with the murder of Dennis Aquino who
was Endino's rival for the love of Aquino's girlfriend Clara Agagas. The suspects fled after killing Aquino.
However, through the combined efforts of the Antipolo and Palawan police forces, Galgarin was arrested and
taken into custody in the Antipolo Police Station. He was to be transferred to Palawan for him to be tried there.

On their way to the airport, they stopped at the ABS CBN TV station where Galgarin had an interview with the
media. In the interview, he admitted that it was his nephew Endino who shot Aquino and he was only an
accomplice in the crime. This interview was aired on TV Patrol.

However, during the trial, the accused-appellant pleaded “not guilty” and disowned his interview with TV Patrol.
He claimed that he was coerced by police officers to admit to the crime.

ISSUE

Whether the accused-appellant's videotaped confession is admissible as evidence in court.

HELD

YES. The interview did not form part of the custodial investigation. Moreover, it was made spontaneously and
voluntarily by the accused-appellant. There was no evidence that he was indeed coerced or threatened by the
police to do the interview.

Nevertheless, the Court still left a word of caution against presumptions that confessions to the media are always
voluntary and permissible as evidence in court. The constitutional safeguards for the rights of the accused
should never be disregarded. Therefore, people must ascertain whether such confessions are made under
duress or with the influence of police officers.

People vs. Anthony Escordial – GR 138934-35, January 16, 2002

FACTS

Escordial was convicted for robbery with rape and sentenced to death by the Bacolod RTC.

Michelle Darunday, the rape victim, did not know what the suspect looked like because she was blindfolded at
the time the crime was committed. She would only recognize him if she heard his voice and felt the rough bumps
on skin, as he was talking to her while he was raping her. However, her roommate claimed that she saw the
suspect, even though she was blindfolded, because of the light that filtered in from a lamp post outside their
room; that's why she gave a physical description to the police officers.

In the course of their investigation, the police found that the suspect's description fit that of a worker in the Coffee
Break Corner, where the accused was employed. When the police officers arrived at the cafe, they asked the
owner for the accused's whereabouts. They went to the location stated by the owner and found the accused in a
basketball court. He was then invited for questioning.

The rape victim was already at the station when the accused arrived. According to her testimony, the accused
blushed when he saw her. He also tried talking to her, asking her if she really knew him, but she did not respond.
He was asked to take off his shirt and she confirmed that he was indeed her assailant because of a keloid at the
back of his neck and his voice.

ISSUES

(1) Whether the warrantless arrest of the accused was lawful.


(2) Whether the accused's Miranda rights were violated.
HELD

(1) NO. He was arrested while he was watching a basketball game. He was not caught in flagrante delicto.
Neither was he arrested immediately after the consummation of the crime because he was only “invited”
for questioning a week after the incident.

However, the defect was cured when he voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the court.

(2) YES, insofar as he was not assisted by counsel during the custodial investigation. Nevertheless, the
Court noted that the accused did not, at any time, admit to committing the crime, even when he claimed
that he was being tortured by the police. Therefore, there was no uncounselled confession obtained from
him.
The Court also found that, although the out-of-court identification of the accused was inadmissible as evidence
since he was not assisted by counsel at that time, the in-court identification was definitely a valid ground for his
conviction. In fact, it was actually the in-court identification that formed the basis for the RTC's decision, not the
out-of-court identification.

People vs. Eric Guillermo – GR 147786, January 20, 2004

FACTS

This is an automatic review of the Antipolo RTC's decision to convict accused Guillermo of the crime of murder,
thereby sentencing him to death.

The accused allegedly murdered Victor Keyser, the owner of Keyser Plastics and employer of the accused.
According to the security guard of the factory, the accused asked him to dispose of Keyser's corpse. Shocked by
this revelation, the guard ran to the police station and reported the matter to the authorities.

When the police officers arrived at the scene, the accused calmly surrendered and admitted that he killed
Keyser. He even narrated how he bashed Keyser on the head and dismembered him thereafter. He also said
that he did not regret his actions.

The accused was interviewed by news reporters Gus Abelgas of ABS CBN and Karen David of GMA. Both
interviews were broadcast nationwide. He also told David the details of the killing.

The accused initially entered a plea of guilty, but subsequently changed it to “not guilty”. His defense consisted of
outright denial and he alleged that he was just “framed-up”.

ISSUE

(1) Whether the police officers violated the accused's Miranda rights.
(2) Whether the accused's confession to the media is admissible as evidence against him.

HELD

(1) YES. First, he made his confession without the assistance of counsel. The police also did not make an
active effort to make sure he was provided with one before they began questioning the accused.

Second, although the police contended that the accused was informed of his rights, it was found that the
accused was only made to read a list of rights posted on the wall of the police station. There was no evidence
that he actually understood those rights. According to the Court, a mere reading of the constitutional rights of the
accused is not enough; the authorities must also make sure that the accused understood his rights.

Third, the confession that the police obtained from him was inadmissible as evidence against the accused
because it did not conform to the following requirements: (1) it must be voluntary; (2) it must be express; (3) it
must be made in the presence of counsel; and (4) it must be made in writing.

Last, even if the police alleged that the accused waived his right to counsel, there was no showing that he
actually did so voluntarily, expressly, in the presence of counsel and in writing.

(2) YES, because it was voluntary and spontaneous. In fact, he even narrated how and why he killed the
victim. This strongly contrasts with and overcomes his outright denial in court.
People vs. Hon. Ruben Ayson and Felipe Ramos – GR 85215, July 7, 1989

FACTS

Private respondent Ramos was a ticket clerk in PAL when a report came out that he was allegedly involved in
irregularities in ticket sales. He was informed that an investigation would be conducted regarding the matter.

After the investigation, Ramos was informed of the findings of the Audit team. Ramos confessed to the branch
manager that he had indeed “misused” the proceeds from the ticket sales, but he was willing to settle. He asked
for a compromise agreement to pay back the stolen funds, but no such agreement was finalized.

PAL filed an estafa case against Ramos. Ramos's response to the investigation was put in writing and presented
as Exhibit A while his handwritten admission was presented as Exhibit K during the trial. However, Judge Ayson
dismissed both pieces of evidence as he claimed that they were the “fruits of a poisonous tree”. According to
him, the exhibits were inadmissible as evidence because the accused was not informed of his constitutional
rights and assisted by counsel when he confessed to committing the crime.

ISSUE

Whether Exhibits A and K are inadmissible as evidence against the accused.

HELD

YES. Judge Ayson contended that they should be inadmissible as evidence because they violated Ramos's right
against self-incrimination as well as his Miranda rights. The Court ruled otherwise. These rights may only be
invoked when the accused is subjected to custodial investigation by police officers. In this case, the accused was
not under custodial investigation at the time he made his written admission or documented confession to the PAL
officers. Moreover, he executed them willingly, as evidenced by the fact that he wanted to have a compromise
agreement with PAL for him to gradually pay back the stolen funds.

People vs. Rene Lamsing – GR 105316, September 21, 1995

FACTS

Lamsing was accused of killing a security guard on a construction site in Cubao. In the course of the
investigation, he was brought to the police station and made to join a police line-up. The witness positively
identified him as the culprit among those lined up.

ISSUE

Whether accused's Miranda rights were violated when the witness identified him from the police line-up.

HELD

NO. A police line-up does not form part of the custodial investigation. Therefore, the accused cannot yet invoke
his Miranda rights in such instances.

People vs. Alejandro Lucero – GR 97936, May 29, 1995

FACTS

The accused was charged with the crime of robbery with homicide. The victim, Dr. Madrid, filed a complaint with
the Special Operations Group of the Central Intelligence Service (CIS), as the police did not immediately
respond to his initial complaint.
Two months later, the CIS apprehended the accused and two more suspects. Pfc. Alberto Pursal conducted the
investigation. He claimed that even before he apprised the accused of his Miranda rights, the latter verbally
admitted that he was the one who shot Dr. Madrid's driver. Afterwards, he called on Atty. Diosdado Peralta to act
as counsel of the accused while he gives his confession.

Atty. Peralta appeared and also apprised the accused of his rights. When the accused did not respond, he
thought that the accused had understood. When the investigator started asking preliminary questions, Atty.
Peralta had to leave to attend a friend's wake.

The next day, the accused was brought to Atty. Peralta's residence with the extrajudicial confession already
signed by the accused. In the presence of two CIS agents, Atty. Peralta asked the accused if he executed it
voluntarily, to which the accused responded in the affirmative, and signed the confession.

Upon arraignment, the accused denied any involvement in the crime and testified that he was made to line up
four times before Dr. Madrid finally identified him. He also claimed that he was made to sign the extrajudicial
confession under duress and confirmed that Atty. Peralta was not present during his actual custodial
investigation.

ISSUE

Whether the accused's extrajudicial confession is admissible as evidence against him.

HELD

NO, because his confession suffered constitutional infirmities. Although the accused was apprised of his rights,
there was no evidence that he actually understood. Atty. Peralta even confirmed that the accused did not react
after he was informed of his rights. As to the presence of counsel, Atty. Peralta was not present all throughout
the investigation. The Court held that the counsel for the accused must be effective and vigilant. He should have
a more active role than simply apprising the accused of his rights. He has to check the questions addressed to
the accused to ensure that they do not violate his right against self-incrimination. In the instant case, Atty. Peralta
failed miserably at performing this duty.

People vs. Pacito Ordono and Apolonio Medina – GR 132154, June 29, 2000

FACTS

The case is an automatic review of the decision of the La Union RTC convicting the accused of the crime of rape
with homicide, thereby sentencing them to death.

The decomposing body of 15-year-old Shirley Victore was found among the bushes in Brgy. Poblacion, Santol,
La Union. Unidentified sources pointed to the accused as the culprits. The police invited them to the police
station for questioning, but were released later on due to insufficient evidence.

A week later, accused went to the police station and freely admitted that they were responsible for the death of
Shirley Victore. The police then conducted the custodial investigation after apprising the accused of their rights.
Since there were no practicing lawyers in the area, they invited the parish priest, the Municipal Mayor, the Chief
of Police and other police officers to witness the investigation.

After news of the crime spread, Roland Almoite, a leading announcer of radio station DZNL, visited and
interviewed the accused. The interview was broadcast and heard by thousands of listeners.
Two days later, the accused were brought to the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) where they had a closed-door
session with PAO Lawyer Oscar Cruz. Atty. Cruz likewise apprised the accused of their rights and explained to
them the questions as well as the implication of their answers during the investigation. The accused were then
brought to the Balaoan MTC where Judge Fabian Bautista asked them if they were coerced to give their
confession, to which they answered in the negative, and the accused affixed their thumbmarks to the signed
statement.

On arraignment, in a complete turn-about, the accused pleaded “not guilty”.

ISSUE

Whether the accused's confessions should be inadmissible as evidence against them.

HELD

YES, insofar as they were not assisted by counsel during custodial investigation. Although the Parish Priest,
Municipal Mayor and Chief of Police were present when the accused made their admission, this did not cure the
defect in the custodial investigation – particularly the deprivation of their right to competent and independent
counsel. RA 7438, which defines the rights of persons under custodial investigation, allows certain exceptions to
the right to counsel as long as they meet the following conditions: (1) counsel of the accused must be absent
and (2) a valid waiver must be executed. In this case, there was no lawyer available but there was no valid
waiver executed. Even if they were brought to a PAO lawyer days later, it still did not remedy this omission.

There was also no evidence that the accused were effectively informed of their rights. In fact, at the time they
were arrested, they were not informed of their rights so that when they made their admission later on, it actually
violated their right to self-incrimination. Even the advice given by the PAO lawyer were given in a cursory and
perfunctory manner when, ideally, he should have made a conscious effort to ensure that the accused
understood their rights.

However, his interview with Almoite was admissible as evidence as it was voluntary and spontaneous.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SANTIAGO PERALTA y POLIDARIO (at large),


ARMANDO DATUIN JR. y GRANADOS (at large), ULYSSES GARCIA y TUPAS,
MIGUELITO DE LEON y LUCIANO, LIBRANDO FLORES y CRUZ and ANTONIO LOYOLA
y SALISI,accused, ULYSSES GARCIA y TUPAS, MIGUELITO DE LEON y LUCIANO,
LIBRANDO FLORES y CRUZ and ANTONIO LOYOLA y SALISI – GR 145176, March 30,
2004
FACTS
The accused were all convicted of qualified theft for stealing punctured BSP notes amounting to Php194,190.
On the basis of the complaint filed, one of the accused, Ulysses Garcia, was apprehended while waiting for a
passenger bus to the BSP. It was said that, during the custodial investigation, Garcia admitted authorship of the
crime and named his cohorts as accomplices. Acting on his admission, the police officers “invited” the other
accused for questioning.
On the other hand, Garcia claims that he was arrested without a warrant and tortured by his interrogators to
admit to doing the crime. However, the trial court still convicted the accused on the basis of the confessions
obtained from them and three perforated notes confiscated from Garcia at the time of his arrest.
ISSUES
(1) Whether the warrantless arrest waand subsequent search and seizure were lawful.
(2) Whether the confession of the accused and evidence confiscated from Garcia may be admissible as
evidence against them.
HELD
(1) NO, because Garcia was not caught in flagrante delicto or immediately after committing a crime. He was
only arrested five days after the police officers were given information that the accused could have
stolen some BSP notes because they were spending beyond their means. Still, this information was not
supported by sufficient evidence and would not, therefore, give rise to probable cause to merit the
warrantless arrest of the accused.
The search and seizure were also illegal because the arrest was illegal. Therefore, the notes confiscated from
Garcia were the fruits of the poisonous tree.
(2) NO, because they were not assisted by counsel during custodial investigation. Even the PAO lawyer
who allegedly assisted them admitted that he was not present during the investigation. Moreover, he
only signed as “saksi” or witness on the accused's written admissions. The Court held that “competent
and independent” counsel requires effective and vigilant counsel – not just someone to standby and
watch while the accused is being questioned by police officers.

People vs. Benjamin Sayaboc, Patricio Escorpiso, Marlon Buenviaje and Miguel
Buenviaje – GR 147201, January 15, 2004
FACTS
The appellants were accused of murdering Joseph Galam, the owner of the Rooftop Disco and Lodging House.
Based on a cartographic sketch of the assailant, the police arrested Sayaboc and brought him to the Provincial
Command Headquarters of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya for questioning. Sayaboc was allegedly informed of his
rights, including his right to counsel of his own choice. Since Sayaboc could not name a laywer to assist him, the
investigators called on PAO lawyer Rodolfo Cornejo to stand as counsel for the accused. When the accused
conceded, the police officers continued with the investigation and Sayaboc eventually signed an extrajudicial
confession in Ilocano.
ISSUES
(1) Whether Sayaboc's extrajudicial confession is admissible as evidence against him.
(2) Whether Marlon and Miguel Buenviaje were denied their right to be heard by themselves and counsel
after they filed their demurrer to evidence allegedly without seeking the express leave of the court.
HELD
(1) NO, because he was not effectively assisted by Atty. Cornejo during the investigation. The Court held
that the right to competent and independent counsel means that the lawyer should satisfy himself, during
the investigation, that the suspect understands the full import and consequences of answering the
questions propounded. This does not imply that he has to prevent the accused from answering
questions or making a confession. It only means that the lawyer has to explain the questions asked by
conferring with his client and halt the investigation if his client's right against self-incrimination is being
violated. Likewise, he should inform his client that he may invoke his right to be silent at any time during
the investigation.
(2) NO, because the demurrer was filed without prior leave of the court. The filing of a demurrer without
prior leave of the court is an unqualified waiver of the right to present evidence for the accused.
According to the Court: “The rationale for this rule is that when the accused moves for dismissal on the
ground of insufficiency of evidence of the prosecution evidence, he does so in the belief that said
evidence is insufficient to convict and, therefore, any need for him to present any evidence is negated.”
The purpose is also to avoid the practice of filing motions for dismissal as demurrer to evidence and,
after denial thereof, the defense would then claim the right to present its evidence.