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DIGESTS: CRIMPRO

Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967)


The warrantless wiretapping of a public pay phone violates the unreasonable search and
seizure protections of the Fourth Amendment.
FACTS

ISSUE

RULING
REASONING

The petitioner, Charles Katz, was charged with conducting illegal


gambling operations across state lines in violation of federal law. In
order to collect evidence against Katz, federal agents placed a
warrantless wiretap on the public phone booth that he used to conduct
these operations. The agents listened only to Katz's conversations, and
only to the parts of his conversations dealing with illegal gambling
transactions.
In the case of Olmstead v. United States (1928), the Supreme Court
held that the warrantless wiretapping of phone lines did not constitute an
unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment. According to the
Court, physical intrusion (a trespass) into a given area, and not mere
voice amplification (the normal result of a wiretap), is required for an
action to constitute a Fourth Amendment search. This is known as the
"trespass doctrine." Partly in response to this decision, Congress
passed the Federal Communications Act of 1933. This Act required,
among other things, federal authorities to obtain a warrant before
wiretapping private phone lines. In the case of Silverman v. United
States (1961), the Supreme Court refined the Olmstead trespass
doctrine by holding that an unreasonable search occurs only if a
"constitutionally protected area" has been intruded upon.
At his trial, Katz sought to exclude any evidence connected with these
wiretaps, arguing that the warrantless wiretapping of a public phone
booth constitutes an unreasonable search of a "constitutionally
protected area" in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The federal
agents countered by saying that a public phone booth was not a
"constitutionally protected area," therefore, they could place a wiretap on
it without a warrant.
Does the warrantless wiretapping of a public phone booth violate the
unreasonable search and seizure clause of the Fourth Amendment to
the United States Constitution?
Yes
By a 7-1 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Katz and held that
placing of a warrantless wiretap on a public phone booth constitutes an
unreasonable search in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The majority
opinion, written by Justice Potter Stewart, however, did not address the
case from the perspective of a "constitutionally protected area." In
essence, the majority argued that both sides in the case were wrong to
think that the permissibility of a warrantless wiretap depended upon the
area being placed under surveillance. "For the Fourth Amendment
protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the
public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth
Amendment protection . . . . But what he seeks to preserve as private
even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally
protected," the Court stated.
Building upon this reasoning, the Court held that it was the duty of the
Judiciary to review petitions for warrants in instances in which persons
may be engaging in conduct that they wish to keep secret, even if it
were done in a public place. The Court held that, in the absence of a

CONCURRENC
E

judicially authorized search warrant, the wiretaps of the public phone


booth used by Katz were illegal. Therefore, the evidence against him
gathered from his conversations should be suppressed.
Justice John Marshall Harlan's Concurrence: Test for Constitutionally
Protected Searches
Although he agreed with the majority opinion of the Court, Justice
Harlan went further to provide a test for what is a constitutionally
protected search. He said it was necessary to clarify when private
actions, conducted in a public place, may be constitutionally protected.
Expanding upon the general principles enunciated by the majority
opinion, Justice Harlan proposed the following two-pronged test to
address this issue: "My understanding of the rule that has emerged from
prior judicial decisions is that there is a twofold requirement, first that a
person have exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy; and
second, that the expectation be one that society is prepared to
recognize as 'reasonable.'"
Both the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts have looked to this
two-pronged test, and not the majority holding per se, to determine
when private actions in public places may be constitutionally protected.
In essence, this concurrence has come to be seen as the main point of
the Katz decision, and it is the test that, typically, has been used when
deciding upon the constitutionality of warrantless wiretaps.

KATZ VS US
Brief Fact Summary. The petitioner, Katz (the petitioner), was convicted of transmitting
wagering information over telephone lines in violation of federal law. The government had
entered into evidence the petitioners end of telephone conversations that the government had
obtained by placing a listening device to the phone booth that the petitioner used. The Court of
Appeals rejected the petitioners contention that the evidence should be suppressed.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The protection of the Fourth Amendment of the United States
Constitution (Constitution), against unreasonable searches and seizures, follows the person
and not the place.
Facts. The petitioner used a public telephone booth to transmit wagering information from Los
Angeles to Boston and Miami in violation of federal law. After extensive surveillance, the FBI
placed a listening device to the top of the telephone booth and recorded the petitioners end of
the telephone conversations which was then used as evidence against him at his trial. The
petitioner moved to have the evidence suppressed under the Fourth Amendment of the
Constitution, and that motion was denied. The Court of Appeals rejected the contention that the
evidence is inadmissible. Certiorari was granted.
Issue. Whether the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects telephone conversations
conducted in a phone booth and secretly recorded from introduction as evidence against a
person?
Held. Justice Potter Stewart filed the majority opinion. The petitioner strenuously asserted that
the phone booth was a constitutionally protected area. However, the Fourth Amendment protects
persons and not places from unreasonable intrusion. Even in a public place, a person may have
a reasonable expectation of privacy in his person. Although the petitioner did not seek to hide his
self from public view when he entered the telephone booth, he did seek to keep out the uninvited
ear. He did not relinquish his right to do so simply because he went to a place where he could be

seen. A person who enters into a telephone booth may expect the protection of the Fourth
Amendment of the Constitution as he assumes that the words he utters into the telephone will
not be broadcast to the world. Once this is acknowledged, it is clear that the Fourth Amendment
of the Constitution protects persons and not areas from unreasonable searches and seizures.
The Governments activities in electron
ically listening to and recording the petitioners telephone conversations constituted a search
and seizure under the Fourth Amendment and absent a search warrant predicated upon
sufficient probable cause, all evidence obtained is inadmissible.
Dissent. Justice Hugo Black (J. Black) filed a dissenting opinion. J. Black observed that
eavesdropping was an ancient practice that the Framers were certainly aware of when they
drafted the United States Constitution (Constitution). Had they wished to prohibit this activity
under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution they would have added such language that
would have effectively done so. By clever wording, the Supreme Court finds it plausible to argue
that language aimed specifically at searches and seizures of things that can be searched and
seized may, to protect privacy, be applied to eavesdropped evidence of conversations.
Concurrence. Justice John Harlan (J. Harlan) filed a dissenting opinion. The Fourth
Amendment of the Constitution protects persons, not places. There is a twofold requirement for
what protection is afforded to those people. First, that a person has exhibited an actual
expectation of privacy and, second, that the expectation be one that society is prepared to
recognize as reasonable. The critical fact in this case is that a person who enters a telephone
booth shuts the door behind him, pays the toll, and is surely entitled to assume that his
conversation is not being intercepted. On the other hand, conversations out in the open public
would not be protected against being overheard as the expectation of privacy would not be
reasonable.
Discussion. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution provides constitutional protection to
individuals and not to particular places. The two-part test for this protection is introduced by J.
Harlan. First, the person must have exhibited an actual expectation of privacy and, second, that
expectation must be reasonable.

2.

NATURE: Petition for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction


PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND:
Supreme Court: Original Petition for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction
FACTS:
The forty one (41) petitioners, claiming to represent the citizens of Metro Manila who have
similar interests and are so numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all before th[e] Court,
filed a petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction to prohibit the military and police officers
from conducting Aerial Target Zonings or Saturation Drives in Metro Manila. In their petition,
they claim that the saturation drive or aerial target zoning that were conducted in Tondo,
Manila were unconstitutional. To support such claim, they specifically alleged that there is no
specific target house to be search and that there is no search warrant or warrant of arrest
served. Most of the policemen are in their civilian clothes and without nameplates or
identification cards. The residents were rudely roused from their sleep by banging on the walls
and windows of their houses. The residents were at the point of high-powered guns and herded
like cows. Men were ordered to strip down to their briefs for the police to examine their tattoo
marks. The petitioners claim that in all these drives, the following acts were committed:
1.

Having no specific target house in mind, in the dead of the night or early morning
hours, police and military units without any search warrant or warrant of arrest cordon
an area of more than one residence and sometimes whole barangay or areas of
barangay in Metro Manila. Most of them are in civilian clothes and without nameplates
or identification cards.

2.

These raiders rudely rouse residents from their sleep by banging on the walls and
windows of their homes, shouting, kicking their doors open (destroying some in the
process), and then ordering the residents within to come out of their respective
residences.

3.

The residents at the point of high-powered guns are herded like cows, the men are
ordered to strip down to their briefs and examined for tattoo marks and other imagined
marks.

4.

While the examination of the bodies of the men are being conducted by the raiders,
some of the members of the raiding team force their way into each and every house
within the cordoned off area and then proceed to conduct search of the said houses
without civilian witnesses from the neighborhood.

5.

In many instances, many residents have complained that the raiders ransack their
homes, tossing about the residents belongings without total regard for their value. In
several instances, walls are destroyed, ceilings are damaged in the raiders illegal
effort to fish for incriminating evidence.

6.

Some victims of these illegal operations have complained with increasing frequency
that their money and valuables have disappeared after the said operations.

7.

All men and some women who respond to these illegal and unwelcome intrusions are
arrested on the spot and hauled off to waiting vehicles that take them to detention
centers where they are interrogated and verified. These arrests are all conducted
without any warrants of arrest duly issued by a judge, nor under the conditions that will

Guanzon v. De Villa
G.R. No. 80508
30 January 1990
PONENTE: Gutierrez, Jr., J.
PARTIES:
1.

PETITIONERS: EDDIE GUAZON, JOSEFINA CABRERA, YOLANDA DACUNES,


VIOLETA SEVILLA, QUERUBIN BILLONES, ESTELITA BILLONES, GORGONIA
MACARAEG, LAUREANA JOAQUIN, CRESTITA LICUP, SOLIDAD ABURDO,
ROSALINA VILLARDA, CONRADA HOBALANE, ERLINDA RESTORAN, VERIDIAN
FLORA, ROSELA CONDE, SOSIMA COSTO, JOSEFINA ALDIANO, ROSALINA
DOMINGO, ARESTIO YANGA, MILAGROS GONZALES, ESTRELITA ESTARES,
BONIFACIA ANTIVO, PATRIA VALLES, ERLINDA LEE, MELANIO GAROFIL,
ERIBERTO MATEO, FRANCISCO HORTILLANO, ANATALIA PESIMO, LOSENDO
GARBO, VIRGINIA LORESTO, LYDIA ELA, RAFAEL VILLABRILLE, MA. RECHILDA
SABALZA, EDITHA MAAMO, ELENIETA BANOSA, ALEXANDER LABADO,
ANDREW GO, WYNEFREDO REYES, ROSARIO SESPENE, ROSA MARTIN and
JAIME BONGAT

RESPONDENTS: MAJ. GEN. RENATO DE VILLA, BRIG. GEN. ALEXANDER


AGUIRRE, BRIG. GEN. RAMON MONTANO, BRIG. GEN. ALFREDO LIM, and COL.
JESUS GARCIA

authorize warrantless arrest. Some hooded men are used to fingerpoint suspected
subversives.
8.

In some instances, arrested persons are released after the expiration of the period
wherein they can be legally detained without any charge at all. In other instances,
some arrested persons are released without charge after a few days of arbitrary
detention.

9.

The raiders almost always brandish their weapons and point them at the residents
during these illegal operations.

10. Many have also reported incidents of on-the-spot beatings, maulings and
maltreatment.
11. Those who are detained for further verification by the raiders are subjected to mental
and physical torture to extract confessions and tactical information. (Rollo, pp. 2 -4)
In their defense, the respondents, represented by the Solicitor General, alleged that the
accusations of the petitioners were total lies. Respondents contend that the Constitution grants
to government the power to seek and cripple subversive movements for the maintenance of
peace in the state. The aerial target zoning were intended to flush out subversives and criminal
elements coddled by the communities were the said drives were conducted. They said that they
have intelligently and carefully planned months ahead for the actual operation and that local and
foreign media joined the operation to witness and record such event.
PERTINENT ISSUES:
1.

Whether or not the saturation drives performed by respondents involved acts which
violated human rights.

2.

Whether or not the original action for prohibition is the proper remedy.

ANSWER:
1.

Yes.

2.

No.

SUPREME COURT RULINGS:


1.

ON SATURATION DRIVES AND VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

The Court believes it highly probable that some violations were actually committed. This is so
inspite of the alleged pleas of barangay officials for the thousands of residents to submit
themselves voluntarily for character and personal verification. We cannot imagine police actions
of the magnitude described in the petitions and admitted by the respondents, being undertaken
without some undisciplined soldiers and policemen committing certain abuses. However, the
remedy is not to stop all police actions, including the essential and legitimate ones. We see
nothing wrong in police making their presence visibly felt in troubled areas. Police cannot
respond to riots or violent demonstrations if they do not move in sufficient numbers. A show of
force is sometimes necessary as long as the rights of people are protected and not violated. A
blanket prohibition such as that sought by the petitioners would limit all police actions to one-onone confrontations where search warrants and warrants of arrests against specific individuals
are easily procured. Anarchy may reign if the military and the police decide to sit down in their
offices because all concerted drives where a show of force is present are totally prohibited.
2.

ON VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND REMEDY

The present petition is an improper remedy The remedy is not an original action for
prohibition brought through a taxpayers suit. Where not one victim complains and not one
violator is properly charged, the problem is not initially for the Supreme Court. It is basically one
for the executive departments and for trial courts. Well-meaning citizens with only second-hand
knowledge of the events cannot keep on indiscriminately tossing problems of the executive, the
military, and the police to the Supreme Court as if we are the repository of all remedies for all
evils. The rules of constitutional litigation have been evolved for an orderly procedure in the
vindication of rights. They should be followed. If our policy-makers sustain the contention of the
military and the police that occasional saturation drives are essential to maintain the stability of
government and to insure peace and order, clear policy guidelines on the behavior of soldiers
and policemen must not only be evolved, they should also be enforced. A method of pinpointing
human rights abuses and identifying violators is necessary.
The problem is appropriate for the Commission on Human Rights. A high level conference
should bring together the heads of the Department of Justice, Department of National Defense
and the operating heads of affected agencies and institutions to devise procedures for the
prevention of abuses.
No permanent relief can be given Under the circumstances of this taxpayers suit, there is no
erring soldier or policeman whom we can order prosecuted. In the absence of clear facts
ascertained through an orderly procedure, no permanent relief can be given at this time. Further
investigation of the petitioners charges and a hard look by administration officials at the policy
implications of the prayed for blanket prohibition are also warranted.

When saturation drives may be conducted without having to secure search warrants and
without violating the Bill of Rights Where there is large scale mutiny or actual rebellion, the
police or military may go out in force to the combat areas, enter affected residences or buildings,
round up suspected rebels and otherwise quell the mutiny or rebellion without having to secure
search warrants and without violating the Bill of Rights.

In the meantime and in the face of a prima facie showing that some abuses were probably
committed and could be committed during future police actions, we have to temporarily restrain
the alleged banging on walls, the kicking in of doors, the herding of half-naked men to assembly
areas for examination of tattoo marks, the violation of residences even if these are humble
shanties of squatters, and the other alleged acts which are shocking to the conscience.

Duty of the court to stop the transgression and encroachment upon the rights of the
individual Where a violation of human rights specifically guaranteed by the Constitution is
involved, it is the duty of the court to stop the transgression and state where even the awesome
power of the state may not encroach upon the rights of the individual. It is the duty of the court to
take remedial action even in cases such as the present petition where the petitioners do not
complain they were victims of the police actions, where no names of any of the thousands of
alleged victims are given, and where the prayer is a general one to stop all police saturation
drives, as long as the Court is convinced that the event actually happened.

DISPOSITIVE:
The Supreme Court remanded the petition to the Regional Trial Courts of Manila, Malabon, and
Pasay City where the petitioners may present evidence supporting their allegations and where
specific erring parties may be pinpointed and prosecuted.
The Supreme Court likewise forwarded to the Commission on Human Rights, the Secretary of
Justice, the Secretary of National Defense, and the Commanding General of the Philippine
Constabulary Integrated National Police for the drawing up and enforcement of clear

guidelines to govern police actions intended to abate riots and civil disturbances, flush out
criminal elements, and subdue terrorist activities.
In the meantime, the Supreme Court enjoined the acts violative of human rights alleged by
petitioners as committed during the police actions until such time as permanent rules to govern
such rules are promulgated.
Burgos v. Chief of Staff, AFP
G.R. No. L-64261
26 December 1984
PONENTE: Escolin, J.
PARTIES:
1.

PETITIONERS: JOSE BURGOS, SR., JOSE BURGOS, JR., BAYANI SORIANO and
J. BURGOS MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

2.

RESPONDENTS: THE CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES,


THE CHIEF, PHILIPPINE CONSTABULARY, THE CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER,
PRESIDENTIAL SECURITY COMMAND, THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL, ET
AL.

Pursuant to the said search warrants, the business premises of the Metropolitan Mail and We
Forum newspapers were searched. Accordingly, office and printing machines, equipment,
paraphernalia, motor vehicles and other articles used in the printing, publication and distribution
of the said newspapers, as well as numerous papers, documents, books and other written
literature allegedly possessed by Jose Burgos, Jr., publisher-editor of the We Forum
newspaper, were seized. Thereafter, the premises of both printing offices were padlocked and
sealed thereby preventing the publication of the aforementioned newspapers.
A petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with preliminary mandatory and prohibitory
injunction was filed after 6 months following the raid to question the validity of said search
warrants, and to enjoin the Judge Advocate General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP), the City Fiscal of Quezon City, their representatives, assistants, subalterns, subordinates,
substitute or successors from using the articles seized as evidence in Criminal Case No. Q022782 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, entitled People v. Jose Burgos, Jr. et al.
Respondents sought the dismissal of the petition on the ground that the petitioners came
immediately before the Supreme Court without having previously sought the quashal of the
search warrants before Judge Cruz- Pano.
PERTINENT ISSUES:

NATURE: Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition, and Mandamus with Prayer for Issuance of Writs of
Preliminary Mandatory and Prohibitory Injunction
PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND:
Supreme Court: Original Petition filed with the Supreme Court

1.

Whether or not the immediate recourse to the Supreme Court was proper to question
the validity of the two (2) search warrants.

2.

Whether or not the two (2) search warrants were validly issued.

ANSWERS:
1.

No. However the Court took cognizance of the petition in view of the seriousness and
urgency of the constitutional issues raised not to mention the public interest generated
by the search of the We Forum offices, which was televised in Channel 7 and widely
publicized in all metropolitan dailies.

2.

No.

FACTS:
On 7 December 1982, Judge Ernani Cruz-Pano, Executive Judge of the Court of First Instance
of Quezon City, issued two (2) search warrants where the premises at 19 Road 3, Project 6,
Quezon City, and 784 Units C & D, RMS Building, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, business
addresses of the Metropolitan Mail and We Forum newspapers, respectively. The search
warrants describe the articles sought to be seized in this wise:
1.

All printing equipment, paraphernalia, paper, ink, photo (equipment,


typewriters, cabinets, tables, communications/recording equipment, tape
recorders, dictaphone and the like used and/or connected in the printing of the WE
FORUM newspaper and any and all documents communication, letters and facsimile
of prints related to the WE FORUM newspaper.

2.

Subversive documents, pamphlets, leaflets, books, and other publication to promote


the objectives and purposes of the subversive organizationknown as Movement for
Free Philippines, Light-a-Fire Movement and April 6 Movement; and,

3.

Motor vehicles used in the distribution/circulation of the WE FORUM and other


subversive materials and propaganda, more particularly,

1] Toyota-Corolla, colored yellow with Plate No. NKA 892;


2] DATSUN pick-up colored white with Plate No. NKV 969;
3] A delivery truck with Plate No. NBS 524;
4] TOYOTA-TAMARAW, colored white with Plate No. PBP 665; and,
5] TOYOTA Hi-Lux, pick-up truck with Plate No. NGV 427 with marking Bagong Silang.

SUPREME COURT RULINGS:


1.

REMEDY AGAINST ILLEGAL SEARCH

The correct remedy for petitioners was to file a motion to quash the search warrants
Indeed, petitioners, before impugning the validity of the warrants before this Court, should have
filed a motion to quash said warrants in the court that issued them (Templo v. Dela Cruz, 60
SCRA 295 [1974]). But this procedural flaw notwithstanding, we take cognizance of this petition
in view of the seriousness and urgency of the constitutional issues raised not to mention the
public interest generated by the search of the We Forum offices, which was televised in
Channel 7 and widely publicized in all metropolitan dailies. The existence of this special
circumstance justifies this Court to exercise its inherent power to suspend its rules. It is always in
the power of the Supreme Court to suspend its rules or to except a particular case from its
operation, whenever the purpos es of jus tice require it.
2.

ON VALIDITY OF SEARCH WARRANTS

Use of evidence seized in an illegal search does not prevent a party from questioning its
validity Respondents also submit the theory that since petitioner Jose Burgos, Jr. had used
and marked as evidence some of the seized documents in Criminal Case No. Q- 022872, he is
now estopped from challenging the validity of the search warrants. We do not follow the logic of
respondents. These documents lawfully belong to petitioner Jose Burgos, Jr. and he can do

whatever he pleases with them, within legal bounds. The fact that he has used them as evidence
does not and cannot in any way affect the validity or invalidity of the search warrants assailed in
this petition.
A mere typographical error in a search warrant does not render the same invalid The
search warrant used to search the premises of the We Forum newspaper at 784 Units C & D,
RMS Building, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City indicated that the articles sought to be seized were
allegedly kept at No. 19 Road 3, Project 6, Quezon City as contained in the warrant. The defect
pointed out is obviously a typographical error. Precisely, two search warrants were applied for
and issued because the purpose and intent were to search two distinct premises. It would be
quite absurd and illogical for respondent judge to have issued two warrants intended for one and
the same place. Besides, the addresses of the places sought to be searched were specifically
set forth in the application, and since it was Col. Abadilla himself who headed the team which
executed the search warrants, the ambiguity that might have arisen by reason of the
typographical error is more apparent than real. The fact is that the place for which Search
Warrant No. 20- 82[b] was applied for was 728 Units C & D, RMS Building, Quezon Avenue,
Quezon City, which address appeared in the opening paragraph of the said warrant. Obviously
this is the same place that respondent judge had in mind when he issued the said search
warrant.
In the determination of whether a search warrant describes the premises to be searched with
sufficient particularity, it has been held that the executing officers prior knowledge as to the
place intended in the warrant is relevant. This would seem to be especially true where the
executing officer is the affiant on whose affidavit the warrant had issued, and when he knows
that the judge who issued the warrant intended the building described in the affidavit, And it has
also been said that the executing officer may look to the affidavit in the official court file to
resolve an ambiguity in the warrant as to the place to be searched.
The seizure of articles belonging to other persons not named in the warrant does not
invalidate the search warrant or the search conducted Section 2 of Rule 126 (now Section
3 of Rule 126) of the Rules of Court provides that a search warrant may be issued for the search
and seizure of (a) property subject of the offense; (b) property stolen or embezzled and other
proceeds or fruits of the offense; and (c) property used or intended to be used as the means of
committing an offense. It does not require that the property to be seized should be owned by the
person against whom the search warrant is directed. It may or may not be owned by him. In fact,
under Section 2(b), one of the properties that may be seized is stolen property. Necessarily,
stolen property must be owned by one other than the person in whose possession it may be at
the time of the search and seizure. Ownership, therefore, is of no consequence, and it is
sufficient that the person against whom the warrant is directed has control or possession of the
property sought to be seized.
Mere unsubstantiated allegations or baseless conclusions of law do not constitute
probable cause for issuance of a search warrant Probable cause for a search is defined as
such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to
believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the
offense are in the place sought to be searched. And when the search warrant applied for is
directed against a newspaper publisher or editor in connection with the publication of subversive
materials, as in the case at bar, the application and/or its supporting affidavits must contain a
specification, stating with particularity the alleged subversive material he has published or is
intending to publish. Mere generalization will not suffice. Thus, the broad statement in Col.
Abadillas application that petitioner is in possession or has in his control printing equipment and
other paraphernalia, news publications and other documents which were used and are all
continuously being used as a means of committing the offense of subversion punishable under
Presidential Decree 885, as amended is a mere conclusion of law and does not satisfy the
requi rements of probable cause.

Probable cause for issuance of a search warrant must be based on personal knowledge
of the applicant or his witness Equally insufficient as basis for the determination of probable
cause is the statement contained in the joint affidavit of Alejandro M. Gutierrez and Pedro U.
Tango, that the evidence gathered and collated by our unit clearly shows that the premises
above-mentioned and the articles and things above- described were used and are continuously
being used for subversive activities in conspiracy with, and to promote the objective of, illegal
organizations such as the Light-a-Fire Movement, Movement for Free Philippines, and April 6
Movement.
In mandating that no warrant shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined by the
judge, after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he
may produce; the Constitution requires no less than personal knowledge by the complainant or
his witnesses of the facts upon which the issuance of a search warrant may be justified. In
Alvarez v. Court of First Instance (64 Phil. 33), this Court ruled that the oath required must refer
to the truth of the facts within the personal knowledge of the petitioner or his witnesses, because
the purpose thereof is to convince the committing magistrate, not the individual making the
affidavit and seeking the issuance of the warrant, of the existence of probable cause.
General warrants are unconstitutional Another factor which makes the search warrants
under consideration constitutionally objectionable is that they are in the nature of general
warrants.
In Stanford v. State of Texas the search warrant which authorized the search for books, records,
pamphlets, cards, receipts, lists, memoranda, pictures, recordings and other written instruments
concerning the Communist Party in Texas, was declared void by the U.S. Supreme Court for
being too general. In like manner, directions to seize any evidence in connection with the
violation of SDC 13-3703 or otherwise have been held too general, and that portion of a search
warrant which authorized the seizure of any paraphernalia which could be used to violate Sec.
54-197 of the Connecticut General Statutes [the statute dealing with the crime of conspiracy]
was held to be a general warrant, and therefore invalid. The description of the articles sought to
be seized under the search warrants in question cannot be characterized differently.
The closure of the business premises of the Metropolitan Mail and We Forum
newspapers violates the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press As heretofore
stated, the premises searched were the business and printing offices of the Metropolitan Mail
and the We Forum newspapers. As a consequence of the search and seizure, these premises
were padlocked and sealed, with the further result that the printing and publication of said
newspapers were discontinued.
Such closure is in the nature of previous restraint or censorship abhorrent to the freedom of the
press guaranteed under the fundamental law, and constitutes a virtual denial of petitioners
freedom to express themselves in print. This state of being is patently anathematic to a
democratic framework where a free, alert and even militant press is essential for the political
enlightenment and growth of the citizenry.
DISPOSITIVE:
The Supreme Court held that the Search Warrants Nos. 20-82[a] and 20-82[b] are null and void
and are accordingly set aside. The prayer for a writ of mandatory injunction for the return of the
seized articles was likewise granted and all articles seized by virtue of such warrants were
ordered released to petitioners.
REPUBLIC ACT No. 4200
AN ACT TO PROHIBIT AND PENALIZE WIRE TAPPING AND OTHER RELATED
VIOLATIONS OF THE PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Section 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any
private communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or
arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or spoken word by
using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or dictaphone or walkie-talkie or
tape recorder, or however otherwise described:
It shall also be unlawful for any person, be he a participant or not in the act or acts penalized in
the next preceding sentence, to knowingly possess any tape record, wire record, disc record, or
any other such record, or copies thereof, of any communication or spoken word secured either
before or after the effective date of this Act in the manner prohibited by this law; or to replay the
same for any other person or persons; or to communicate the contents thereof, either verbally or
in writing, or to furnish transcriptions thereof, whether complete or partial, to any other
person: Provided, That the use of such record or any copies thereof as evidence in any civil,
criminal investigation or trial of offenses mentioned in section 3 hereof, shall not be covered by
this prohibition.
Section 2. Any person who willfully or knowingly does or who shall aid, permit, or cause to be
done any of the acts declared to be unlawful in the preceding section or who violates the
provisions of the following section or of any order issued thereunder, or aids, permits, or causes
such violation shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than six
months or more than six years and with the accessory penalty of perpetual absolute
disqualification from public office if the offender be a public official at the time of the commission
of the offense, and, if the offender is an alien he shall be subject to deportation proceedings.
Section 3. Nothing contained in this Act, however, shall render it unlawful or punishable for any
peace officer, who is authorized by a written order of the Court, to execute any of the acts
declared to be unlawful in the two preceding sections in cases involving the crimes of treason,
espionage, provoking war and disloyalty in case of war, piracy, mutiny in the high seas, rebellion,
conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion, inciting to rebellion, sedition, conspiracy to commit
sedition, inciting to sedition, kidnapping as defined by the Revised Penal Code, and violations of
Commonwealth Act No. 616, punishing espionage and other offenses against national
security:Provided, That such written order shall only be issued or granted upon written
application and the examination under oath or affirmation of the applicant and the witnesses he
may produce and a showing: (1) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that any of the
crimes enumerated hereinabove has been committed or is being committed or is about to be
committed: Provided, however, That in cases involving the offenses of rebellion, conspiracy and
proposal to commit rebellion, inciting to rebellion, sedition, conspiracy to commit sedition, and
inciting to sedition, such authority shall be granted only upon prior proof that a rebellion or acts
of sedition, as the case may be, have actually been or are being committed; (2) that there are
reasonable grounds to believe that evidence will be obtained essential to the conviction of any
person for, or to the solution of, or to the prevention of, any of such crimes; and (3) that there are
no other means readily available for obtaining such evidence.
The order granted or issued shall specify: (1) the identity of the person or persons whose
communications, conversations, discussions, or spoken words are to be overheard, intercepted,
or recorded and, in the case of telegraphic or telephonic communications, the telegraph line or
the telephone number involved and its location; (2) the identity of the peace officer authorized to
overhear, intercept, or record the communications, conversations, discussions, or spoken words;
(3) the offense or offenses committed or sought to be prevented; and (4) the period of the
authorization. The authorization shall be effective for the period specified in the order which shall
not exceed sixty (60) days from the date of issuance of the order, unless extended or renewed
by the court upon being satisfied that such extension or renewal is in the public interest.
All recordings made under court authorization shall, within forty-eight hours after the expiration
of the period fixed in the order, be deposited with the court in a sealed envelope or sealed

package, and shall be accompanied by an affidavit of the peace officer granted such authority
stating the number of recordings made, the dates and times covered by each recording, the
number of tapes, discs, or records included in the deposit, and certifying that no duplicates or
copies of the whole or any part thereof have been made, or if made, that all such duplicates or
copies are included in the envelope or package deposited with the court. The envelope or
package so deposited shall not be opened, or the recordings replayed, or used in evidence, or
their contents revealed, except upon order of the court, which shall not be granted except upon
motion, with due notice and opportunity to be heard to the person or persons whose
conversation or communications have been recorded.
The court referred to in this section shall be understood to mean the Court of First Instance
within whose territorial jurisdiction the acts for which authority is applied for are to be executed.
Section 4. Any communication or spoken word, or the existence, contents, substance, purport,
effect, or meaning of the same or any part thereof, or any information therein contained obtained
or secured by any person in violation of the preceding sections of this Act shall not be admissible
in evidence in any judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative or administrative hearing or investigation.
Section 5. All laws inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or
accordingly amended.
Section 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Approved: June 19, 1965
PEOPLE VS ARUTA
Search and Seizure Informers Tip
In the morning of 13 Dec 1988, the law enforcement officers received information from an
informant named Benjie that a certain Aling Rosa would be leaving for Baguio City on 14 Dec
1988 and would be back in the afternoon of the same day carrying with her a large volume of
marijuana; At 6:30 in the evening of 14 Dec 1988, Aruta alighted from a Victory Liner Bus
carrying a travelling bag even as the informant pointed her out to the law enforcement officers;
NARCOM officers approached her and introduced themselves as NARCOM agents; When
asked by Lt. Abello about the contents of her travelling bag, she gave the same to him; When
they opened the same, they found dried marijuana leaves; Aruta was then brought to the
NARCOM office for investigation.
ISSUE: Whether or not the conducted search and seizure is constitutional.
HELD: The SC ruled in favor of Aruta and has noted that some drug traffickers are being freed
due to technicalities. Aruta cannot be said to be committing a crime. Neither was she about to
commit one nor had she just committed a crime. Aruta was merely crossing the street and was
not acting in any manner that would engender a reasonable ground for the NARCOM agents to
suspect and conclude that she was committing a crime. It was only when the informant pointed
to Aruta and identified her to the agents as the carrier of the marijuana that she was singled out
as the suspect. The NARCOM agents would not have apprehended Aruta were it not for the
furtive finger of the informant because, as clearly illustrated by the evidence on record, there
was no reason whatsoever for them to suspect that accused-appellant was committing a crime,
except for the pointing finger of the informant. The SC could neither sanction nor tolerate as it is
a clear violation of the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure.
Neither was there any semblance of any compliance with the rigid requirements of probable
cause and warrantless arrests. Consequently, there was no legal basis for the NARCOM agents
to effect a warrantless search of Arutas bag, there being no probable cause and the accusedappellant not having been lawfully arrested. Stated otherwise, the arrest being incipiently illegal,

it logically follows that the subsequent search was similarly illegal, it being not incidental to a
lawful arrest. The constitutional guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure must
perforce operate in favor of accused-appellant. As such, the articles seized could not be used as
evidence against accused-appellant for these are fruits of a poisoned tree and, therefore, must
be rejected, pursuant to Article III, Sec. 3(2) of the Constitution.
NOTES:
When is a warrantless search allowed?
1. Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest recognized under Section 12, Rule 126 of the
Rules of Court 8 and by prevailing jurisprudence;
2. Seizure of evidence in plain view, the elements of which 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 had 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;
3. Search of a moving vehicle. Highly regulated by the government, the vehicles 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;
4. Consented warrantless search;
5. Customs search;
6. Stop and Frisk; and
7. Exigent and Emergency Circumstances.
Manalili vs CA
Facts:
This is a petition for certiorari seeking the reversal of CAs decision in affirming TCs decision on
convicting Manalili of illegal possession of prohibited drug violating RA 6425.
Police operatives Espiritu, Lumabas and driver Enriquez conducted surveillance along the front
of Kalookan Cemetery based on the information that drug addicts were roaming around in the
area, saw a man who appeared to be high on drugs and introduced themselves as policemen.
Said man avoided them and tried to resist, when they asked what the man was holding in his
hand, the man held out his wallet and allowed Espiritu to examine it, who found what he
suspected to be crushed mj leaves. The man was brought to the Anti-Narcotics Unit and turned
out to be Manalili. The substance found on Manalilis wallet was sent to NBI Foresic Chemistry
Section and was confirmed as mj.
Manalilis version of the story was that early afternoon he was riding in a tricycle when 3
policemen stopped the tricycle and informed them of the suspected possession of mj, the
policemen bodily searched both Manalili and the driver and upon finding nothing illegal on their

persons, let the driver go but brought Manalili along to the police station. Manalili while on the
way to the station saw a neighbor whom he signaled to follow them and when he was again
searched in the station, he was asked to strip his pants where they found nothing illegal. Said
neighbor then asked the policemen to let Manalili go seeing as they had not found anything
illegal but Manalili was put on a cell who was brought to a fiscal later that day and was told not to
say anything despite his saying that the policemen had not found mj on his person. Said tricycle
driver and neighbor testified on court as to how the 2 searches yielded nothing illegal on
Manalilis person.

Issues:
1

W/N evidence seized during a stop-and-frisk is admissible.

W/N Manalilis actions constituted a waiver of his rights.

W/N the evidence is sufficient to prove Manalilis guilt.

Ruling:
I

I. In Terry vs Ohio, a stop-and-frisk was defined as the vernacular designation of


the right of a police officer to stop a citizen on the street, interrogate him and pat
him for weapons: W)here a police officer observes an unusual conduct which
leads him reasonably to conclude in light of his experience that criminal activity
may be afoot and that the persons with whom he is dealing may be armed and
presently dangerous, where in the course of investigating this behavior he
identified himself as a policeman and makes reasonable inquiries, and where
nothing in the initial stages of the encounter serves to dispel his reasonable fear
for his own or others' safety, he is entitled for the protection of himself and others
in the area to conduct a carefully limited search of the outer clothing of such
persons in an attempt to discover weapons which might be used to assault him.
Such a search is a reasonable search under the Fourth Amendment, and any
weapon seized may properly be introduced in evidence against the person from
whom they were taken.

It did not, however abandon the rule that the police must, whenever practicable, obtain advance
judicial approval of searches and seizures through the warrant procedure, excused only by
exigent circumstances. As People vs Lacerna enumerated 5 recognized exceptions to the rule
against warrantless searches and seizures: 1) search incidental to lawful arrest; 2) search of
moving vehicles; 3) seizure in plain view; 4) customs search; 5) waiver of the accused of his
rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. From Espiritus experience as a member of
the Anti-Narcotics Unit of Caloocan City Police, Manalilis suspicious behavior was characteristic
of drug addicts who were high.
II. SGs contention that Manalili effectively waived the inadmissibility of the evidence illegally
obtained when he failed to raise this issue or object during trial. A valid waiver of right against
unreasonable searches and seizures require the concurrence of these requisites: 1) the right to
be waived existed; 2) the person waiving it had knowledge; and 3) he/she had actual intention to
relinquish the right. In this case however, it is deemed that Manalili has waived such right for
failure to raise its violation before the trial court, at the earliest opportunity possible. Issues not
raised below cannot be pleaded for the first time on appeal.

III. Manalilis contention that the charge was trumped up to extort money and testimonies of the
arresting officers were inconsistent, it held that the trial courts assessment of the credibility of
the witnesses particularly when affirmed by CA is accorded great weight and respect as it had
opportunity to observe their demeanor and deportment as they testified before it.
The elements of illegal possession of mj are: 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; and c)
the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug. The substance found on Manalilis
wallet was identified as mj which was prohibited and knowingly without authority. Considering
that he was high and tried to avoid and resist, such behavior clearly shows that he knew he was
holding mj and it was prohibited by law.
ELIZALDE MALALOAN and MARLON LUAREZ vs.COURT OF APPEALS
FACTS: Lt. Absalon V. Salboro of the CAPCOM filed with the RTC of Kalookan City an
application for search warrant. The search warrant was sought for in connection with an alleged
violation of P.D. 1866 (Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunitions). Firearms, explosive
materials and subversive documents were seized and taken during the search. Petitioners
presented a Motion for Consolidation, Quashal of Search Warrant and For the Suppression of All
Illegally Acquired Evidence. However, the court denied the quashal of the search warrant and
the validity of which warrant was upheld invoking paragraph 3(b) of the Interim Rules and
Guidelines which provides that search warrants can be served not only within the territorial
jurisdiction of the issuing court but anywhere in the judicial region of the issuing court.
ISSUE: W/N a court may take cognizance of an application for a search warrant in connection
with an offense committed outside its territorial boundary and, thereafter, issue the warrant to
conduct a search on a place outside the court's supposed territorial jurisdiction
HELD: A warrant, such as a warrant of arrest or a search warrant, merely constitutes process.
A search warrant is defined in our jurisdiction as an order in writing issued in the name of the
People of the Philippines signed by a judge and directed to a peace officer, commanding him to
search for personal property and bring it before the court. 5 A search warrant is in the nature of a
criminal process akin to a writ of discovery. It is a special and peculiar remedy, drastic in its
nature, and made necessary because of a public necessity.
A judicial process is defined as a writ, warrant, subpoena, or other formal writing issued by
authority of law. It is clear, therefore, that a search warrant is merely a judicial process designed
by the Rules to respond only to an incident in the main case, if one has already been instituted,
or in anticipation thereof. Since a search warrant is a judicial process, not a criminal action, no
legal provision, statutory or reglementary, expressly or impliedly provides a jurisdictional or
territorial limit on its area of enforceability. Moreover, in our jurisdiction, no period is provided for
the enforceability of warrants of arrest, and although within ten days from the delivery of the
warrant of arrest for execution a return thereon must be made to the issuing judge, said warrant
does not become functus officio but is enforceable indefinitely until the same is enforced or
recalled.
The following are the guidelines when there are possible conflicts of jurisdiction where the
criminal case is pending in one court and the search warrant is issued by another court for the
seizure of personal property intended to be used as evidence in said criminal case:
1. The court wherein the criminal case is pending shall have primary jurisdiction to issue search
warrants necessitated by and for purposes of said case. An application for a search warrant may
be filed with another court only under extreme and compelling circumstances that the applicant
must prove to the satisfaction of the latter court which may or may not give due course to the

application depending on the validity of the justification offered for not filing the same in the court
with primary jurisdiction thereover.
2. When the latter court issues the search warrant, a motion to quash the same may be filed in
and shall be resolved by said court, without prejudice to any proper recourse to the appropriate
higher court by the party aggrieved by the resolution of the issuing court. All grounds and
objections then available, existent or known shall be raised in the original or subsequent
proceedings for the quashal of the warrant, otherwise they shall be deemed waived.
3. Where no motion to quash the search warrant was filed in or resolved by the issuing court, the
interested party may move in the court where the criminal case is pending for the suppression
as evidence of the personal property seized under the warrant if the same is offered therein for
said purpose. Since two separate courts with different participations are involved in this situation,
a motion to quash a search warrant and a motion to suppress evidence are alternative and not
cumulative remedies. In order to prevent forum shopping, a motion to quash shall consequently
be governed by the omnibus motion rule, provided, however, that objections not available,
existent or known during the proceedings for the quashal of the warrant may be raised in the
hearing of the motion to suppress. The resolution of the court on the motion to suppress shall
likewise be subject to any proper remedy in the appropriate higher court.
4. Where the court which issued the search warrant denies the motion to quash the same and is
not otherwise prevented from further proceeding thereon, all personal property seized under the
warrant shall forthwith be transmitted by it to the court wherein the criminal case is pending, with
the necessary safeguards and documentation therefore.
5. These guidelines shall likewise be observed where the same criminal offense is charged in
different informations or complaints and filed in two or more courts with concurrent original
jurisdiction over the criminal action. Where the issue of which court will try the case shall have
been resolved, such court shall be considered as vested with primary jurisdiction to act on
applications for search warrants incident to the criminal case.
WHEREFORE, on the foregoing premises, the instant petition is DENIED.
ILLINOIS VS GATES
Brief Fact Summary. The police received an anonymous letter outlining specific details about
the Defendants, Gates and others (the defendants), plans to traffic drugs from Florida to
Illinois. When the details were corroborated by the defendants actions, police obtained a search
warrant and found drugs, weapons and other contraband in the defendants home and
automobile.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Where an anonymous tip is corroborated with actual police findings,
a totality of the circumstances approach is an appropriate way of determining probable cause
instead of using the two-pronged test of veracity/reliability and basis of knowledge from
Spinelli v. United States, 393 U.S. 410 (1969). The Fourth Amendment of the United States
Constitution (Constitution) requires no more than a finding by an issuing magistrate that there
is a substantial basis that a search will uncover evidence of wrongdoing.
Facts. The police received a highly detailed anonymous tip that the defendants were trafficking
drugs. The police, following up on the tip, observed the defendants conducting specific activities
which were outlined in the tip. On the basis of the tip and the defendants corroborating activities,
the police obtained a search warrant. Upon execution of the warrant, the police found drugs,
weapons and other contraband in the defendants automobile and home.

Issue. May a magistrate issue a valid warrant on the basis of an anonymous tip where there is
no indicia of the informers basis of knowledge if the information contained in the tip is
corroborated with police findings?
Held. When a court decides whether or not to issue a search warrant, the elements of the
informants credibility/reliability and basis of knowledge are to be used as guides when
considering the totality of the circumstances and are not to be exclusive requirements applied
in every case.
Dissent. Aguilar and the elaboration in Spinelli sets forth the analysis magistrates should follow
on determinations of probable cause. To sufficiently uphold Fourth Amendment rights,
magistrates must look at both the credibility/reliability and basis of knowledge of the
informant. Basis of knowledge cannot fully be supported solely on the basis that some factual
assertions corroborate with actual police findings.
Since some of the anonymous tips were not corroborated and actually proved false, the
informants credibility/reliability was undermined and therefore the warrant should not have
been issued. Police cannot use findings of an illegal search to substantiate a previously issued
warrant.
Concurrence. Even if the factual findings by police were only corroborated by innocuous
behavior, a valid warrant could still have been issued because the defendants actions were
suspicious. The main focus should be whether there is an inference, based upon the suspects
actions, that the informant is credible and the information was obtained in a reliable manner.
Discussion.Credibility/reliability and basis of knowledge of an informant are very relevant in
determining the value of a tip. These elements alone do not form the entire basis of inquiry in
deciding whether probable cause exists. So long as the magistrate had a substantial basis for
concluding a search would uncover evidence of wrongdoing, the Fourth Amendment is not
violated.
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
SANTIAGO SY JUCO, defendant.
Facts:
The crime alleged is fraud of revenue against the Government. Pursuant to a search warrant
issued, the officers searched the building occupied by Santiago Sy Juco. In the process, the
authorities seized, among others, an art metal filing cabinet claimed by Atty. Remo to be his and

contained some letters, documents and papers belonging to his clients. Also, books belonging to
Salakam Lumber Co., Inc., were seized.
Issue:
1. Is the search warrant in question valid or not, taking into consideration the provisions of the
law and of the Constitution relative thereto?
2. Does the art metal filing cabinet seized by the agents of the Bureau of Internal Revenue
belong to Santiago Sy Juco or to Teopisto B. Remo?
Ruling:
The search and seizure was not valid. It is not stated in the affidavit that the books, documents
or records referred to therein are being used or are intended to be used in the commission of
fraud against the Government and, notwithstanding the lack of such allegation; the warrant
avers that they are actually being used for such purpose.
Also, it assumes that the entire building is occupied by Santiago Sy Juco, when the only ground
upon which such assumption is based is the BIR agent's statement which is mere hearsay
(coming from an informant) and when in fact part thereof was occupied by Atty. Remo. It was not
asked that the things belonging to Atty. Remo and to others also be searched and seized.
For all the foregoing reasons, and finding that the errors assigned by the appellant are very well
founded, the appealed judgment is reversed, and it is ordered that the art metal filing cabinet,
together with the key thereof seized by the internal revenue agent by virtue of the judicial
warrant in question, which is hereby declared null and void, be immediately returned unopened
to the appellant; and that a copy of this decision be sent to the Solicitor-General for him to take
action, if he deems it justified, upon careful investigation of the facts, against the internal
revenue agent or agents who obtained and executed the warrant in question, in accordance with
the provisions of article 129 of the Revised Penal Code, without special pronouncement as to
costs.