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JUAN DE LA CRUZ vs PEOPLE

FACTS: The evidence of the prosecution reveals that at 8:00 a.m. of 31 January 2006,
the agents and special investigators of the ational !ureau of "nvestigation, #entral
$isayas %egional &ffice '!"(#)$%&* or simply !", received a #omplaint from
#ora+on ,-sin '#ora+on* and #harito )sco-ido '#harito*. The complainants claimed that
at 1:00 a.m. of that same day, ,riel )sco-ido ',riel*, the live(in partner of #ora+on and
son of #harito, .as pic/ed up -y several un/no.n male persons -elieved to -e police
officers for allegedly selling drugs. ,n errand -oy gave a num-er to the complainants,
and .hen the latter gave the num-er a ring, they .ere instructed to proceed to the
0orordo 1olice &ffice located along 0orordo ,venue, #e-u #ity. "n the said police
office, they met 2James3 .ho demanded from them 100,000, later lo.ered to 40,000, in
e5change for the release of ,riel. ,fter the meeting, the complainants proceeded to the
!"(#)$%& to file a complaint and narrate the circumstances of the meeting to the
authorities. 6hile at the !"(#)$%&, #harito even received calls supposedly from
2James3 instructing her to -ring the money as soon as possi-le.
The special investigators at the !"(#)$%& verified the te5t messages received -y the
complainants. , team .as immediately formed to implement an entrapment operation,
.hich too/ place inside a Jolli-ee -ranch at the corner of 0en. 7a5ilom and 0orordo
,venues, #e-u #ity. The officers .ere a-le to na- Jaime dela #ru+ -y using a pre(
mar/ed 800 -ill dusted .ith fluorescent po.der, .hich .as made part of the amount
demanded -y 2James3 and handed -y #ora+on. 1etitioner .as later -rought to the
forensic la-oratory of the !"(#)$%& .here forensic e5amination .as done -y forensic
chemist %ommel 1aglina.an. 1etitioner .as re9uired to su-mit his urine for drug testing.
"t later yielded a positive result for presence of dangerous drugs as indicated in the
confirmatory test result la-eled as To5icology ':angerous :rugs* %eport o. 2006(T::(
2402 dated 16 ;e-ruary 2006.
The %T# found the accused guilty of violating <ection 18, ,rt "" of %, =168. 1etitioner
filed an appeal assigning as error the %T#>s validation of the result of the urine test
despite its du-iousness having -een admitted in spite of the lac/ of legal -asis for its
admission. ;irst, he alleges that the forensic la-oratory e5amination .as conducted
despite the fact that he .as not assisted -y counsel, in clear violation of his constitutional
right. <econdly, he .as allegedly held guilty -eyond reasona-le dou-t not.ithstanding
the lac/ of sufficient -asis to convict him. The #, affirmed %T#>s decision.
1. Does the drug test in Section 15 cover persons apprehended or arrested for any
unlawful act other than that listed under Article II of R.A. 9165?
&. ;irst, 2?a@ person apprehended or arrested3 cannot literally mean any person
apprehended or arrested for any crime. The phrase must -e read in conte5t and
understood in consonance .ith %.,. =168. <ection 18 comprehends persons arrested or
apprehended for unla.ful acts listed under ,rticle "" of the la..
Aence, a drug test can -e made upon persons .ho are apprehended or arrested for, among
others, the 2importation,3=2sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery,
distri-ution and transportation3, 10 2manufacture3 11 and 2possession3 12 of dangerous
drugs andBor controlled precursors and essential chemicalsC possession thereof 2during
parties, social gatherings or meetings3 13 C -eing 2employees and visitors of a den, dive
or resort3C 14 2maintenance of a den, dive or resort3C 18 2illegal chemical diversion of
controlled precursors and essential chemicals3 16 C 2manufacture or delivery3 1D or
2possession3 18 of e9uipment, instrument, apparatus, and other paraphernalia for
dangerous drugs andBor controlled precursors and essential chemicalsC possession of
dangerous drugs 2during parties, social gatherings or meetings3 1= C 2unnecessary3 20
or 2unla.ful3 21 prescription thereofC 2cultivation or culture of plants classified as
dangerous drugs or are sources thereof3C 22 and 2maintenance and /eeping of original
records of transactions on dangerous drugs andBor controlled precursors and essential
chemicals.3 23 To ma/e the provision applica-le to all persons arrested or apprehended
for any crime not listed under ,rticle "" is tantamount to unduly e5panding its meaning.
ote that accused appellant here .as arrested in the alleged act of e5tortion.
;urthermore, ma/ing the phrase 2a person apprehended or arrested3 in <ection 18
applica-le to all persons arrested or apprehended for unla.ful acts, not only under %.,.
=168 -ut for all other crimes, is tantamount to a mandatory drug testing of all persons
apprehended or arrested for any crime.
. Is the drug test is not covered !y allowa!le non"testi#onial co#pulsion?
&. "n the instant case, .e fail to see ho. a urine sample could -e material to the charge
of e5tortion. The %T# and the #,, therefore, -oth erred .hen they held that the
e5traction of petitioner>s urine for purposes of drug testing .as 2merely a mechanical act,
hence, falling outside the concept of a custodial investigation.3
6e note a case .here a urine sample .as considered as admissi-le. "n 0utang v. 1eople,
2= the petitioner therein and his companions .ere arrested in connection .ith the
enforcement of a search .arrant in his residence. , 11(,%#&7 team found and
confiscated sha-u materials and paraphernalias. The petitioner and his companions in that
case .ere also as/ed to give urine samples, .hich yielded positive results. Eater, the
petitioner therein .as found guilty of the crime of illegal possession and use of prohi-ited
drugs. 0utang claimed that the latter>s urine sample .as inadmissi-le in evidence, since
it .as derived in effect from an uncounselled e5traFudicial confession.
"n the 0utang et al. case, the #ourt clarified that 2.hat the #onstitution prohi-its is the
use of physical or moral compulsion to e5tort communication from the accused, -ut not
an inclusion of his -ody in evidence, .hen it may -e material.3 The situation in 0utang
.as categori+ed as falling among the e5emptions under the freedom from testimonial
compulsion since .hat .as sought to -e e5amined came from the -ody of the accused.
$. %as the drug test a violation of petitioner&s right to privacy and right against self
incri#ination?
G)<. "t is incontroverti-le that petitioner refused to have his urine e5tracted and tested
for drugs. Ae also as/ed for a la.yer prior to his urine test. Ae .as adamant in e5ercising
his rights, -ut all of his efforts proved futile, -ecause he .as still compelled to su-mit his
urine for drug testing under those circumstances. The pertinent provisions in ,rticle """ of
the #onstitution are clear:
<ection 2. The right of the people to -e secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
effects against unreasona-le searches and sei+ures of .hatever nature and for any
purpose shall -e inviola-le, and no search .arrant or .arrant of arrest shall issue
e5cept upon pro-a-le cause to -e determined personally -y the Fudge after e5amination
under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the .itnesses he may produce, and
particularly descri-ing the place to -e searched and the persons or things to -e sei+ed.
<ection 1D. o person shall -e compelled to -e a .itness against himself.
"n the face of these constitutional guarantees, .e cannot condone drug testing of all
arrested persons regardless of the crime or offense for .hich
the arrest is -eing made.