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Microsoft Corporation vs Maxicorp, Inc.

In 1996, Dominador Samiano, Jr., an agent of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted a
surveillance against Maxicorp, Inc. He observed that Microsoft Softwares (Windows Operating Systems)
were being produced and packaged within the premises of Maxicorp. Samiano, together with a civilian
witness (John Benedict Sacriz) then bought a computer unit from Maxicorp. The unit was pre-installed
with a pirated copy of Windows. For their purchase, they were issued a receipt, however, the receipt
was in the name of a certain Joel Diaz. Subsequently, Samiano applied for a search warrant before the
RTC. He brought with him Sacriz as witness. He also brought the computer unit they bought as evidence
as well as the receipt. He even added an additional witness (Felixberto Pante), a computer technician,
who showed the judge that the software in the computer unit bought by Samiano from Maxicorp was
pirated. The RTC judge, convinced that there is a probable cause for a case of copyright infringement
and unfair competition committed by Maxicorp, issued the corresponding warrant. Maxicorp assailed
the legality of the warrant before the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Maxicorp
and in its decision it highlighted the fact that the receipt issued was not in Samianos or Sacriz name
hence the proceeding in the trial court was infirm from the onset.


1. No. The testimonies of the two witnesses, coupled with the object and documentary evidence they
presented, are sufficient to establish the existence of probable cause. From what they have
witnessed, there is reason to believe that Maxicorp engaged in copyright infringement and unfair
competition to the prejudice of Microsoft. Both NBI Agent Samiano and Sacriz were clear and
insistent that the counterfeit software were not only displayed and sold within Maxicorps premises,
they were also produced, packaged and in some cases, installed there.

The fact that the receipt issued was not in Samianos name nor was it in Sacriz name does not
render the issuance of the warrant void. No law or rule states that probable cause requires a specific
kind of evidence. No formula or fixed rule for its determination exists. Probable cause is determined
in the light of conditions obtaining in a given situation.Thus, it was improper for the Court of Appeals
to reverse the RTCs findings simply because the sales receipt evidencing NBI Agent Samianos
purchase of counterfeit goods is not in his name.

2. No provision of law exists which requires that a warrant, partially defective in specifying some items
sought to be seized yet particular with respect to the other items, should be nullified as a whole. A
partially defective warrant remains valid as to the items specifically described in the warrant. A
search warrant is severable, the items not sufficiently described may be cut off without destroying
the whole warrant
The exclusionary rule found in Section 3(2) of Article III of the Constitution renders inadmissible in
any proceeding all evidence obtained through unreasonable searches and seizure. Thus, all items
seized under paragraph (c) of the search warrants, not falling under paragraphs a, b, d, e or f, should
be returned to Maxicorp.

Ampil v. Office of the Ombudsman

Ampil, an unsecured creditor of ASB Realty, filed a case for Falsification of Public Documents against
Atty. Espenesin, Serrano, Yunchengco and Cheng. He also filed a criminal case for violation of the Anti-
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act as well as an administrative case for Grave Misconduct against Atty.
Espenesin, the Registrar of Deeds of Pasig City. All these cases were lodged before the Office of the

Previously, ASB Realty agreed with MICO to build a condominium tower to be known as the Malayan
Tower where MICO will provide the real estate while ASB will construct the building thereon. A year
later, MICO agreed to sell the land to ASB, with the Contract to Sell stipulating that ownership shall vest
to ASB upon full payment of the purchase price. In 2000, ASB, being a part of thee ASB Group of
Companies filed a Petition for Corporate Rehabilitation, which petition was granted by the SEC. Because
of obvious financial difficulties of ASB, MICO offered to continue the construction of the building, the
agreement of which they incorporated in a Memorandum of Agreement. To make a long story short,
when it came time for issuance of the Condominium Certificates of Titles, Atty. Espenesin signed 38
CCTs in the name of ASB. Later, and before this CCTs were issued, and without any court order, Atty.
Espenesin changed the name of the registered owner in the 38 CCTs to MICO from ASB

Enter Ampil, who claims being an unsecured creditor and wrote Atty. Espenesin and called his attention
to the amendment in the 38 CCTs in the name of ASB were transferred in the name of MICO. He
requested that Atty. Espenesin correct the CCTs to reflect its true owner which is ASB.

Atty. Ampil on his part wrote back and said he merely accommodated the request of Atty. Serrano, who
he knew represented the interests of both MICO and ASB. Despite several demands, the respondents
refused to change the name of the registered owner in the 38 CCTs, which according to Ampil
prejudiced his rights as an unsecured creditor because ASB promised to them that the 38 CCTs will be
included in the Asset Pool in pursuance of the rehabilitation plan which will be used to pay the
unsecured creditors.

The Office of the Ombudsman dismissed the complaint for Falsification of Public Documents against the
respondents, holding that there there must first be a determination of the rightful ownership of the
condominium unit by either MICO or ASB to make the alleged falsification appear as false. The
Ombudsman held Atty. Espenesin liable for Simple Misconduct, but on motion for reconsideration by
Atty. Espenesin, reversed its findings and dismissed the administrative case. Absent in the resolution
was the findings on the liability of Atty. Espenesin under Republic Act 3019.
Ampil appealed the dismissal of the criminal cases to the Supreme Court, while the administrative
aspect was elevated to the Court of Appeals, who also dismissed the petition filed by Ampil.

The Supreme Court consolidated the criminal and administrative cases and disposed of it thus:

Issue: Whether or not the Ombudsman erred in determining the probable cause of the accused.

That the Ombudsman is a constitutional officer duty bound to investigate on its own, or on complaint
by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act or
omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient brooks no objection. The Ombudsmans
conduct of preliminary investigation is both power and duty. Thus, the Ombudsman and his Deputies,
are constitutionalized as protectors of the people, who shall act promptly on complaints filed in any
form or manner against public officials or employees of the government x x x, and shall, x x x notify the
complainants of the action taken and the result thereof.[

The raison dtre for its creation and endowment of broad investigative authority is to insulate the
Office of the Ombudsman from the long tentacles of officialdom that are able to penetrate judges and
fiscals offices, and others involved in the prosecution of erring public officials, and through the
execution of official pressure and influence, quash, delay, or dismiss investigations into malfeasances
and misfeasances committed by public officers.

Plainly, the Ombudsman has full discretion, based on the attendant facts and circumstances, to
determine the existence of probable cause or the lack thereof. On this score, we have consistently
hewed to the policy of non-interference with the Ombudsmans exercise of its constitutionally
mandated powers. The Ombudsmans finding to proceed or desist in the prosecution of a criminal case
can only be assailed through certiorari proceedings before this Court on the ground that such
determination is tainted with grave abuse of discretion which contemplates an abuse so grave and so
patent equivalent to lack or excess of jurisdictio.

On the whole, the Ombudsmans discussion was straightforward and categorical, and ultimately
established that Espenesin, at the urging of Serrano, altered the CCTs issued in ASBs name resulting in
these CCTs ostensibly declaring MICO as registered owner of the subject units at The Malayan Tower.

Despite the admission by Espenesin that he had altered the CCTs and the Ombudsmans findings
thereon, the Ombudsman abruptly dismissed Ampils complaint-affidavit, resolving only one of the
charges contained therein with nary a link regarding the other charge of violation of Sections 3(a) and
(e) of Republic Act No. 3019. Indeed, as found by the Ombudsman, the 4th element of the crime of
Falsification of Public Documents is lacking, as the actual ownership of the subject units at The Malayan
Tower has yet to be resolved.

The Supreme Court say likewise stress that the determination of probable cause does not require
certainty of guilt for a crime. As the term itself implies, probable cause is concerned merely with
probability and not absolute or even moral certainty; it is merely based on opinion and reasonable
belief. It is sufficient that based on the preliminary investigation conducted, it is believed that the act
or omission complained of constitutes the offense charged. Well-settled in jurisprudence, as in Raro v.
Sandiganbayan, that:

x x x [P]robable cause has been defined as the existence of such facts and circumstances as
would excite the belief, in a reasonable mind, acting on the facts within the knowledge of the
prosecutor, that the person charged was guilty of the crime for which he was prosecuted.

Probable cause is a reasonable ground for presuming that a matter is or may be well-founded
on such state of facts in the prosecutors mind as would lead a person of ordinary caution and
prudence to believe or entertain an honest or strong suspicion that it is so.

A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that more likely than not a crime
has been committed and there is enough reason to believe that it was committed by the accused. It
need not be based on clear and convincing evidence of guilt, neither on evidence establishing
absolute certainty of guilt.

A finding of probable cause does not require an inquiry into whether there is sufficient evidence to
procure a conviction. It is enough that it is believed that the act or omission complained of constitutes
the offense charged. Precisely, there is a trial for the reception of evidence of the prosecution in
support of the charge. A finding of probable cause merely binds over the suspect to stand trial. It is
not a pronouncement of guilt.
The term does not mean actual and positive cause nor does it import absolute certainty. It is
merely based on opinion and reasonable belief. Probable cause does not require an inquiry
into whether there is sufficient evidence to procure a conviction.

Nonetheless, this circumstance does not detract from, much less diminish, Ampils charge, and the
evidence pointing to the possible commission, of offenses under Sections 3(a) and (e) of the Anti-Graft
and Corrupt Practices Act.

Sections 3(a) and (e) of Republic Act No. 3019 reads:

Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already
penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are
hereby declared to be unlawful:

(a) Persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation
of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the
official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced to commit such
violation or offense.

(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any
unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official, administrative or judicial
functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision
shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of
licenses or permits or other concessions.

The elements of Section 3(a) of Republic Act No. 3019 are:

(1) the offender is a public officer;

(2) the offender persuades, induces, or influences another public officer to perform an act or the
offender allows himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced to commit an act;

(3) the act performed by the other public officer or committed by the offender constitutes a violation of
rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the
official duty of the latter. (Emphasis supplied).

Whereas, paragraph (e) of the same section lists the following elements:

(1) the offender is a public officer;

(2) the act was done in the discharge of the public officers official, administrative or judicial functions;
(3) the act was done through manifest partiality, evident bad faith, or gross inexcusable negligence; and
(4) the public officer caused any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or gave any
unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference.[28]

As Registrar of the Registry of Deeds of Pasig City, Espenesin is tasked, among others, to review deeds
and other documents for conformance with the legal requirements of registration. Section 10 of
Presidential Decree No. 1529, Amending and Codifying the Laws Relative to Registration of Property and
for Other Purposes provides:

Section 10. General functions of Registers of Deeds. The office of the Register of Deeds constitutes a
public repository of records of instruments affecting registered or unregistered lands and chattel
mortgages in the province or city wherein such office is situated.

It shall be the duty of the Register of Deeds to immediately register an instrument presented for
registration dealing with real or personal property which complies with all the requisites for registration.
He shall see to it that said instrument bears the proper documentary and science stamps and that the
same are properly cancelled. If the instrument is not registerable, he shall forthwith deny registration
thereof and inform the presentor of such denial in writing, stating the ground or reason therefore, and
advising him of his right to appeal by consulta in accordance with Section 117 of the Decree.

Most importantly, a Registrar of the Registry of Deeds is charged with knowledge of Presidential Decree
No. 1529, specifically Sections 57 and 108.

In the instant case, the elements of the offenses under Sections 3(a) and (e) of Republic Act No. 3019,
juxtaposed against the functions of a Registrar of the Registry of Deeds establish a prima facie graft case
against Espenesin and Serrano only. Under Section 3(a) of Republic Act No. 3019, there is a prima facie
case that Espenesin, at the urging of Serrano, allowed himself to be persuaded to alter the CCTs
originally issued in ASBs name, against the procedure provided by law for the issuance of CCTs and
registration of property. In addition, under Section 3(e) of the same law, there is likewise a prima facie
case that Espenesin, through gross inexcusable negligence, by simply relying on the fact that all
throughout the transaction to register the subject units at The Malayan Tower he liaised with Serrano,
gave MICO an unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference in the registration of the subject units.


One fact deserves emphasis. The ownership of the condominium units remains in dispute and, by
necessary inference, does not lie as well in MICO. By his baseless reliance on Serranos word and
representation, Espenesin allowed MICO to gain an unwarranted advantage and benefit in the titling of
the 38 units in The Malayan Tower.

That a prima facie case for gross negligence amounting to violation of Sections 3(a) and (e) of Republic
Act No. 3019 exists is amply supported by the fact that Espenesin disregarded the well-established
practice necessitating submission of required documents for registration of property in the Philippines:


As regards the administrative liability of Espenesin, the basic principle in the law of public officers is the
three-fold liability rule, which states that the wrongful acts or omissions of a public officer, Espenesin in
these cases, may give rise to civil, criminal and administrative liability. An action for each can proceed
independently of the others.

On this point, we find that the appellate court erred when it affirmed the Ombudsmans last ruling that
Espenesin is not administratively liable.

Misconduct is a transgression of some established and definite rule of action, more particularly,
unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public officer.

In Grave Misconduct, as distinguished from Simple Misconduct, the elements of corruption, clear intent
to violate the law or flagrant disregard of established rules, must be manifest and established by
substantial evidence. Grave Misconduct necessarily includes the lesser offense of Simple Misconduct.
Thus, a person charged with Grave Misconduct may be held liable for Simple Misconduct if the
misconduct does not involve any of the elements to qualify the misconduct as grave.

In (G.R. No. 199115), the elements particular to Grave Misconduct are, by the Ombudsmans own
finding, present. Corruption, as an element of Grave Misconduct, consists in the act of an official or
fiduciary person who unlawfully and wrongfully uses his station or character to procure some benefit for
himself or for another person, contrary to duty and the rights of others. This has already been
demonstrated as discussed above. And, there is here a manifest disregard for established rules on land
registration by a Register of Deeds himself. As he himself admits in his letter, Espenesin erased the name
of ASB on the specified CCTs because he believed that Serranos request for the re-issuance thereof in
MICOs name constituted simple error.


To further drive home the point, as Registrar of Deeds, Espenesin knew full well that there [is] no final
determination yet from the land registration court as to who has a better right to the property in
question. Espenesins attempt to minimize the significance of a Registrar of Deeds signature on a CCT
only aggravates the lack of prudence in his action. The change in the titleholder in the CCTs from ASB to
MICO was an official documentation of a change of ownership. It definitely cannot be characterized as
simple error.

Grave misconduct, of which Espenesin has been charged, consists in a public officers deliberate
violation of a rule of law or standard of behavior. It is regarded as grave when the elements of
corruption, clear intent to violate the law, or flagrant disregard of established rules are present. In
particular, corruption as an element of grave misconduct consists in the officials unlawful and wrongful
use of his station or character to procure some benefit for himself or for another person, contrary to
duty and the rights of others.

In sum, the actions of Espenesin clearly demonstrate a disregard of well-known legal rules. The penalty
for Grave Misconduct is dismissal from service with the accessory penalties of forfeiture of retirement
benefits, cancellation of eligibility, and perpetual disqualification from re-employment in the
government service, including government-owned or controlled corporation.



a) Respondent Ling Na Lau (doing business under the name and style Worldwide Pharmacy) is the
sole distributor and registered trademark owner of TOP GEL T.G. & DEVICE OF A LEAF papaya
whitening soap (Certificate of Registration 4-2000-009881 issued by the IPO for a period of 10
years from August 24, 2003)
b) November 7, 2005 Ping Na Lau or Ping, (her representative) wrote a letter addressed to NBI
Director Wycoco thru Atty. Yap and Agent Furing, requesting assistance for an investigation on
several drugstores which were selling counterfeit whitening papaya soaps bearing the general
appearance of their products
1) Agent Furing was assigned to the case and he executed an affidavit stating that he
conducted his own investigation that on No. 9 and 10, 2005 (together with a certain
Esmael), they were able to buy whitening soaps bearing the trademark "TOP-GEL", "T.G."
& "DEVICE OF A LEAF" with corresponding receipts from a list of drugstores which
included herein petitioners; while conducting the investigation and test buys, he was able
to confirm Ping's complaint to be true as he personally saw commercial quantities of
whitening soap bearing the said trademarks being displayed and offered for sale at the
said drugstores; he and Esmael took the purchased items to the NBI, and Ping, as the
authorized representative and expert of Worldwide Pharmacy in determining counterfeit
and unauthorized reproductions of its products, personally examined the purchased
samples; that on Nov. 18, 2005, the whitening soaps bearing the trademarks "TOP-GEL",
"T.G." & "DEVICE OF A LEAF" from the subject drugstores were indeed counterfeit.
2) Esmael also executed an affidavit corroborating Agent Furings statement.
c) November 21, 2005 Agent Furing applied for the issuance of search warrants before the RTC
Makati against petitioners and other establishments for violations of Sec. 168 and 155, both in
relation to Section 170 of Republic Act (RA) No. 8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual
Property Code of the Philippines. Section 168, in relation to Section 170, penalizes unfair
competition; while Section 155, in relation to Section 170, punishes trademark infringement
d) November 23, 2005 after conducting searching questions upon Agent Furing and his witnesses,
the RTC granted the applications and issued Search Warrants for both unfair competition and
trademark infringements
e) December 5, 2005 Agent Furing filed his Consolidated Return of Search Warrants
f) December 8, 2005 petitioners collective filed motion to quash the search warrants due to
forum shopping and the existence of a prejudicial question
i. Benjamin Yu (Yu) is the sole owner and distributor of the product known as "TOP-
GEL"; and there was a prejudicial question posed in Civil Case No. 05-54747
entitled Zenna Chemical Industry v. Ling Na Lau, et al., pending in Branch 93 of
the RTC of Quezon City, which is a case filed by Yu against respondent for
damages due to infringement of trademark/tradename, unfair competition with
prayer for the immediate issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or
preliminary prohibitory injunction.
g) January 9, 2006 opposition by respondent (non-existence of forum-shopping; Yu is not a party-
respondent in these cases and the pendency of the civil case filed by him is immaterial and
irrelevant; Yu cannot be considered the sole owner and distributor of "TOP GEL T.G. & DEVICE OF
h) During the pendency of the case (on April 20, 2006) Respondent filed a Submission in relation
to the Motion to Quash attaching an Order dated March 21, 2006 of the IPO in IPV Case No. 10-
2005-00001 filed by respondent against Yu, doing business under the name and style of MCA
Manufacturing and Heidi S. Cua, proprietor of South Ocean Chinese Drug Stores for trademark
infringement and/or unfair competition and damages with prayer for preliminary injunction
1) Order approved therein the parties' Joint Motion to Approve Compromise Agreement
filed on March 8, 2006 (contents include the ff:
i. Respondents acknowledge the exclusive right of Complainant over the trademark
TOP GEL T.G. & DEVICE OF A LEAF for use on papaya whitening soap
ii. Respondents acknowledge the appointment by Zenna Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.
of Complainant as the exclusive Philippine distributor of its products under the
tradename and trademark TOP GEL MCA & MCA DEVICE (A SQUARE DEVICE
iii. Respondents admit having used the tradename and trademark aforesaid but
after having realized that Complainant is the legitimate assignee of TOP GEL MCA
& MCA DEVICE and the registered owner of TOP GEL T.G. & DEVICE OF A LEAF,
now undertake to voluntarily cease and desist from using the aforesaid
tradename and trademark and further undertake not to manufacture, sell,
distribute, and otherwise compete with Complainant, now and at anytime in the
future, any papaya whitening soap using or bearing a mark or name identical or
confusingly similar to, or constituting a colorable imitation of, the tradename and
as registered and described above
iv. Respondents further undertake to withdraw and/or dismiss their counterclaim
and petition to cancel and/or revoke Registration No. 4-2000-009881 issued to
Complainant and also further undertake to pull out within 45 days from approval
of the Compromise Agreement all their products bearing a mark or name identical
or confusingly similar to, or constituting a colorable imitation of, the tradename
and trademark TOP GEL MCA & MCA DEVICE and/or TOP GEL T.G. & DEVICE OF A
LEAF, from the market nationwide
v. Respondents finally agree and undertake to pay Complainant liquidated damages
in the amount of 500k for every breach or violation of any of the foregoing
undertakings which complainant may enforce by securing a writ of execution
from this Office
vi. Complainant, on the other hand, agrees to waive all her claim for damages against
Respondents as alleged in her complaint filed in the Intellectual Property Office
i) Sept. 25, 2006 RTC sustained the Motion to Quash the Search Warrant
1) RTC applied the Rules on Search and Seizure for Civil Action in Infringement of Intellectual
Property Rights
2) It found the existence of a prejudicial question which was pending before Branch 93 of
RTC Quezon City, docketed as Civil Case No. 05-54747, on the determination as to who
between respondent and Yu is the rightful holder of the intellectual property right over
the trademark TOP GEL T.G. & DEVICE OF A LEAF; and there was also a case for trademark
infringement and/or unfair competition filed by respondent against Yu before the IPO
which was pending at the time of the application for the search warrants. It is clear,
therefore, that at the time of the filing of the application for the search warrants, there is
yet no determination of the alleged right of respondent over the subject
3) RTC found that petitioners relied heavily on Yu's representation that he is the sole
owner/distributor of the Top Gel whitening soap, as the latter even presented
Registration No. 4-1996-109957 from the IPO for a term of 20 years from November 17,
2000 covering the same product. There too was the notarized certification from Zenna
Chemical Industry of Taiwan, owner of Top Gel MCA, with the caveat that the sale,
production or representation of any imitated products under its trademark and
tradename shall be dealt with appropriate legal action
4) RTC further said that in the determination of probable cause, the court must necessarily
resolve whether or not an offense exists to justify the issuance of a search warrant or the
quashal of the one already issued
i. Probable cause was not found in this case
j) November 13, 2006 Urgent Motion to hold in abeyance the release of Seized Evidence by the
respondent and then the MR filed was also denied.
k) Respondent went to CA which granted the appeal and set aside the Order dated March 7, 2007
(involving the search warrants issued by RTC of Makati)
1) The CA did not agree with the RTC that there existed a prejudicial question, since Civil
Case No. 05-54747 was already dismissed on June 10, 2005, i.e., long before the search
warrants subject of this appeal were applied for;
2) and that Yu's motion for reconsideration was denied on September 15, 2005 with no
appeal having been filed thereon as evidenced by the Certificate of Finality issued by the
said court
l) Petitioners MR denied, hence, this petition.

ISSUE: MAIN ISSUE: WON the CA erred in reversing the RTC's quashal of the assailed search warrants

HELD: petition no merit.

a.) The applications for the issuance of the assailed search warrants were for violations of Sections
155 and 168, both in relation to Section 170 of Republic Act (RA) No. 8293, otherwise known as
the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. Section 155, in relation to Section 170, punishes
trademark infringement; while Section 168, in relation to Section 170, penalizes unfair
b.) SC agrees with the CA that A.M. No. 02-1-06-SC, which provides for the Rules on the Issuance of
the Search and Seizure in Civil Actions for Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights, is not
applicable in this case as the search warrants were not applied based thereon, but in anticipation
of criminal actions for violation of intellectual property rights under RA 8293. It was established
that respondent had asked the NBI for assistance to conduct investigation and search warrant
implementation for possible apprehension of several drugstore owners selling imitation or
counterfeit TOP GEL T.G. & DEVICE OF A LEAF papaya whitening soap. Also, in his affidavit to
support his application for the issuance of the search warrants, NBI Agent Furing stated that "the
items to be seized will be used as relevant evidence in the criminal actions that are likely to be
instituted." Hence, Rule 126 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure applies
1) SEC. 3.Personal property to be seized. A search warrant may be issued for the
search and seizure of personal property:
i. (a)Subject of the offense;
ii. (b)Stolen or embezzled and other proceeds or fruits of the
offense; or
iii. (c)Used or intended to be used as the means of committing
an offense. ASHaDT
2) SEC. 4.Requisites for issuing search warrant. A search warrant shall not issue
except upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be
determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation
of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing
the place to be searched and the things to be seized which may be anywhere in
the Philippines.
3) SEC. 5.Examination of complainant; record. The judge must, before issuing the
warrant, personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers, in
writing and under oath, the complainant and the witnesses he may produce on
facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements
together with the affidavits submitted.
c.) A core requisite before a warrant shall validly issue is the existence of a probable cause,
meaning "the existence of 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 to be searched."
i. When the law speaks of facts, the reference is to facts, data or information personally
known to the applicant and the witnesses he may present. Absent the element of
personal knowledge by the applicant or his witnesses of the facts upon which the issuance
of a search warrant may be justified, the warrant is deemed not based on probable cause
and is a nullity, its issuance being, in legal contemplation, arbitrary
ii. The determination of probable cause does not call for the application of rules and
standards of proof that a judgment of conviction requires after trial on the merits just
concerned with concerned with probability, not absolute or even moral certainty; no
need to present proof beyond reasonable doubt
d.) In the case at bar:
i. The affidavits of NBI Agent Furing and his witnesses, Esmael and Ling, clearly showed that
they are seeking protection for the trademark "TOP GEL T.G. and DEVICE OF A LEAF"
registered to respondent under Certificate of Registration 4-2000-009881 issued by the
IPO on August 24, 2003, and no other. While petitioners claim that the product they are
distributing was owned by Yu with the trademark TOP GEL MCA and MCA DEVISE under
Certificate of Registration 4-1996-109957, it was different from the trademark TOP GEL
T.G. and DEVICE OF A LEAF subject of the application.
ii. Based on the foregoing, it is clear that the requisites for the issuance of the search
warrants had been complied with and that there is probable cause to believe that an
offense had been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense
were in the places to be searched. The offense pertains to the alleged violations
committed by respondents-appellees upon the intellectual property rights of herein
private complainant-appellant, as holder of the trademark TOP GEL T.G. & DEVICE OF A
LEAF under Certificate of Registration No. 4-2000-009881, issued on August 24, 2003 by
the Intellectual Property Office

Placer vs Villanueva

G.R. Nos. 60349-62, December 29, 1983

Facts: Following receipt of informations from petitioners that probable cause has been established
which necessitates the issuance of warrants of arrest, respondent judge issued an order the hearing of
said criminal cases for the purpose of determining the propriety of issuing the corresponding warrants
of arrest. After said hearing, respondent issued the questioned orders requiring petitioners to submit to
the court the affidavits of the prosecution witnesses and other documentary evidence in support of
the informations to aid him in the exercise of his power of judicial review of the findings of probable
cause by petitioners
Petitioners contended that under P.D. Nos. 77 and 911, they are authorized to determine the existence
of a probable cause in a preliminary examination/investigation, and that their findings as to the
existence thereof constitute sufficient basis for the issuance of warrants of arrest by the court.

Issues: Whether the certification of the investigating fiscal in the information as to the existence of
probable cause obligates respondent City Judge to issue a warrant of arrest.

Whether or not the respondent city judge may, for the purpose of issuing a warrant of arrest, compel
the fiscal to submit to the court the supporting affidavits and other documentary evidence presented
during the preliminary investigation.

Held: 1. No. 2. Yes.

The issuance of a warrant is not a mere ministerial function; it calls for the exercise of judicial discretion
on the part of the issuing magistrate. This is clear from the following provisions of Section 6, Rule 112 of
the Rules of Court:

Warrant of arrest, when issued. If the judge be satisfied from the preliminary examination conducted
by him or by the investigating officer that the offense complained of has been committed and that there
is reasonable ground to believe that the accused has committed it, he must issue a warrant or order for
his arrest.

Under this section, the judge must satisfy himself of the existence of probable cause before
issuing a warrant or order of arrest. If on the face of the information the judge finds no probable cause,
he may disregard the fiscals certification and require the submission of the affidavits of witnesses to aid
him in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of a probable cause. This has been the rule
since U.S. vs. Ocampo and Amarga vs. Abbas. And this evidently is the reason for the issuance by
respondent of the questioned orders of April 13, 15, 16, 19, 1982 and July 13, 1982. Without the
affidavits of the prosecution witnesses and other evidence which, as a matter of long-standing practice
had been attached to the informations filed in his sala, respondent found the informations inadequate
bases for the determination of probable cause. For as the ensuing events would show, after petitioners
had submitted the required affidavits, respondent wasted no time in issuing the warrants of arrest in the
cases where he was satisfied that probable cause existed.

The obvious purpose of requiring the submission of affidavits of the complainant and of his witnesses is
to enable the court to determine whether to dismiss the case outright or to require further proceedings.

Mendoza v. People

Juno Cars alleged that on June 2, 2007, it hired Alfredo as Trade-In/Used Car Supervisor. On November
19, 2007, its Dealer/Operator, Rolando Garcia, conducted a partial audit of the used cars and discovered
that five (5) cars had been sold and released by Alfredo without Rolandos or the finance managers

The partial audit showed that the buyers of the five cars made payments, but Alfredo failed to remit the
payments totalling P886,000.00. It was further alleged that while there were 20 cars under Alfredos
custody, only 18 were accounted for. Further investigation revealed that Alfredo failed to turn over the
files of a 2001 Hyundai Starex and a Honda City 1.5 LXI. Juno Cars alleged that taking into account the
unremitted amounts and the acquisition cost of the Honda City, Alfredo pilfered a total amount of
P1,046,000.00 to its prejudice and damage.

In his counter-affidavit, Alfredo raised, among others, Juno Cars supposed failure to prove ownership
over the five (5) cars or its right to possess them with the purported unremitted payments. Hence, it
could not have suffered damage.

On March 4, 2008, Provincial Prosecutor Rey F. Delgado issued a Resolution7 finding probable cause and
recommending the filing of an information against Alfredo for qualified theft and estafa.

Alfredo moved for reconsideration, but the motion was denied. He then filed a petition for review with
the Department of Justice on May 16, 2008.

While Alfredos motion for reconsideration was still pending before the Office of the City Prosecutor of
Mandaluyong, two informations for qualified theft and estafa were filed before the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 212, Mandaluyong City. On March 31, 2008, Alfredo filed a motion for determination of probable
cause before the trial court. On April 28, 2008, he also filed a motion to defer arraignment.

On March 3, 2009, the trial court, through Presiding Judge Rizalina Capco-Umali, issued an order
dismissing the complaint, stating that: After conducting an independent assessment of the evidence on
record which includes the assailed, the court holds that the evidence adduced does not support a
finding of probable cause for the offenses of qualified theft and estafa.

Juno Cars filed a motion for reconsideration, which the trial court denied on July 3, 2009.

Juno Cars then filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals, arguing that the trial court acted
without or in excess of its jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion when it dismissed the
complaint. It argued that "the determination of probable cause and the decision whether or not to file a
criminal case in court, rightfully belongs to the public prosecutor."

On January 14, 2011, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision, reversed the trial court, and reinstated
the case. In its decision, the appellate court ruled that the trial court acted without or in excess of its
jurisdiction "in supplanting the public prosecutors findings of probable cause with her own findings of
insufficiency of evidence and lack of probable cause."

Aggrieved, Alfredo filed a petition for review under Rule 45 before this court.

ISSUE 1:whether the trial court may dismiss an information filed by the prosecutor on the basis of its
own independent finding of lack of probable cause.

RULING 1:While the determination of probable cause to charge a person of a crime is the sole function
of the. prosecutor, the trial court may, in the protection of one's fundamental right to liberty, dismiss
the case if, upon a personal assessment of the evidence, it finds that the evidence does not establish
probable cause. The conduct of the preliminary investigation and the subsequent determination of the
existence of probable cause lie solely within the discretion of the public prosecutor. If upon evaluation
of the evidence, the prosecutor finds sufficient basis to find probable cause, he or she shall then cause
the filing of the information with the court. Once the information has been filed, the judge shall then
"personally evaluate the resolution of the prosecutor and its supporting evidence" to determine
whether there is probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest. At this stage, a judicial determination of
probable cause exists.

ISSUE 2:What is the difference between the determination of probable cause by the prosecutor on one
hand and the determination of probable cause by the judge on the other.

RULING 2:There are two kinds of determination of probable cause: executive and judicial. The executive
determination of probable cause is one made during preliminary investigation. It is a function that
properly pertains to the public prosecutor who is given a broad discretion to determine whether
probable cause exist sand to charge those whom he believes to have committed the crime as defined by
law and thus should be held for trial. Otherwise stated, such official has the quasi-judicial authority to
determine whether or not a criminal case must be filed in court. Whether or not that function has been
correctly discharged by the public prosecutor, i.e., whether or not he has made a correct ascertainment
of the existence of probable cause in a case, is a matter that the trial court itself does not and may not
be compelled to pass upon.

The judicial determination of probable cause, on the other hand, is one made by the judge to ascertain
whether a warrant of arrest should be issued against the accused. The judge must satisfy himself that
based on the evidence submitted, there is necessity for placing the accused under custody in order not
to frustrate the ends of justice. If the judge finds no probable cause, the judge cannot be forced to issue
the arrest warrant.

In any case, if there was palpable error or grave abuse of discretion in the public prosecutors finding of
probable cause, the accused can appeal such finding to the justice secretary and move for the
deferment or suspension of the proceedings until such appeal is resolved.

In this case, the resolution dated March 4, 2008 of Prosecutor Rey F. Delgado found that the facts and
evidence were "sufficient to warrant the indictment of [petitioner] x x x."37 There was nothing in his
resolution which showed that he issued it beyond the discretion granted to him by law and

While the information filed by Prosecutor Delgado was valid, Judge Capco-Umali still had the discretion
to make her own finding of whether probable cause existed to order the arrest of the accused and
proceed with trial.

Jurisdiction over an accused is acquired when the warrant of arrest is served. Absent this, the court
cannot hold the accused for arraignment and trial. In this case, Judge Capco-Umali made an
independent assessment of the evidence on record and concluded that "the evidence adduced does not
support a finding of probable cause for the offenses of qualified theft and estafa." Specifically, she found
that Juno Cars "failed to prove by competent evidence"42 that the vehicles alleged to have been
pilfered by Alfredo were lawfully possessed or owned by them, or that these vehicles were received by
Alfredo, to be able to substantiate the charge of qualified theft. She also found that the complaint "[did]
not state with particularity the exact value of the alleged office files or their valuation purportedly have
been removed, concealed or destroyed by the accused," which she found crucial to the prosecution of
the crime of estafa under Article 315, fourth paragraph, no. 3(c) of the RevisedPenal Code.

Accordingly, with the present laws and jurisprudence on the matter, Judge Capco-Umali correctly
dismissed the case against Alfredo. Although jurisprudence and procedural rules allow it, a judge must
always proceed with caution in dismissing cases due to lack of probable cause, considering the
preliminary nature of the evidence before it. It is only when he or she finds that the evidence on hand
absolutely fails to support a finding of probable cause that he or she can dismiss the case. On the other
hand, if a judge finds probable cause, he or she must not hesitate to proceed with arraignment and trial
in order that justice may be served. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The decision dated January
14, 2011 of the Court of Appeals inCA-G.R. SP. No. 110774 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Criminal Case
Nos. MC08-11604-05 against Alfredo C. Mendoza are DISMISSED.SO ORDERED.

PICOP v. Asuncion

FACTS: On January 25, 1995, Police Chief Inspector Napoleon B. Pascua applied for a search warrant
before the RTC of Quezon City, stating: 1. That the management of Paper Industries Corporation of the
Philippines, located at PICOP compound, is in possession or ha[s] in [its] control high powered firearms,
ammunitions, explosives, which are the subject of the offense, or used or intended to be used in
committing the offense, and which . . . are [being kept] and conceal[ed] in the premises described; 2.
That a Search Warrant should be issued to enable any agent of the law to take possession and bring to
the described properties. After propounding several questions to Bacolod, Judge Maximiano C. Asuncion
issued the contested search warrant. On February 4, 1995, the police enforced the search warrant at the
PICOP compound and seized a number of firearms and explosives. Believing that the warrant was invalid
and the search unreasonable, the petitioners filed a Motion to Quash before the trial court.
Subsequently, they also filed a Supplemental Pleading to the Motion to Quash and a Motion to
SuppressEvidence. On March 23, 1995, the RTC issued the first contested Order which denied
petitioners motions. On August 3, 1995, the trial court rendered its second contested Order denying
petitioners Motion for Reconsideration.

ISSUE: WON the search warrant issued was valid


The requisites of a valid search warrant are: (1) probable cause is present; (2) such presence is
determined personally by the judge; (3) the complainant and the witnesses he or she may produce are
personally examined by the judge, in writing and under oath or affirmation; (4) the applicant and the
witnesses testify on facts personally known to them; and (5) the warrant specifically describes the place
to be searched and the things to be seized. In the present case, the search warrant is invalid because (1)
the trial court failed to examine personally the complainant and the other deponents; (2) SPO3 Cicero
Bacolod, who appeared during the hearing for the issuance of the search warrant, had no personal
knowledge that petitioners were not licensed to possess the subject firearms; and (3) the place to be
searched was not described with particularity.

Del Castillo v. People


Pursuant to a confidential information that petitioner Del Castillo was engaged in selling shabu, police
officers headed by SPO3 Bienvenido Masnayon, after conducting surveillance and test-buy operation at
the house of petitioner, secured a search warrant from the RTC. Upon arrival to the residence of Del
Castillo to implement the search warrant, SPO3 Masnayon claimed that he saw petitioner run towards a
small structure, a nipa hut, in front of his house. Masnayon chased him but to no avail, because he and
his men were not familiar with the entrances and exits of the place. They all went back to the residence
of Del Castillo and requested his men to get a barangay tanod and a few minutes thereafter, his men
returned with two barangay tanods who searched the house of petitioner including the nipa hut where
the petitioner allegedly ran for cover. His men who searched the residence of the petitioner found
nothing, but one of the barangay tanods was able to confiscate from the nipa hut several articles,
including four (4) plastic packs containing white crystalline substance.

Thus, an information was filed against Del Castillo for violation of Section 16, Article III of R.A. 6425 and
was found guilty by the RTC and affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Petitioner filed with the Supreme
Court the petition for certiorari contending among others that CA erred in finding him guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of illegal possession of prohibited drugs, because he could not be presumed to be in
possession of the same just because they were found inside the nipa hut.

Can petitioner Del Castillo be held liable for violation of Section 16, Article III of R.A. 6425 by mere
presumption that the petitioner has dominion and control over the place where the shabu was found?


No. While it is not necessary that the property to be searched or seized should be owned by the person
against whom the search warrant is issued, there must be sufficient showing that the property is under
petitioners control or possession. The records are void of any evidence to show that petitioner owns
the nipa hut in question nor was it established that he used the said structure as a shop. The RTC, as well
as the CA, merely presumed that petitioner used the said structure due to the presence of electrical
materials, the petitioner being an electrician by profession.

The prosecution must prove that the petitioner had knowledge of the existence and presence of the
drugs in the place under his control and dominion and the character of the drugs. With the
prosecutions failure to prove that the nipa hut was under petitioners control and dominion, there casts
a reasonable doubt as to his guilt. In considering a criminal case, it is critical to start with the laws own
starting perspective on the status of the accused in all criminal prosecutions, he is presumed innocent
of the charge laid unless the contrary is proven beyond reasonable doubt. Proof beyond reasonable
doubt, or that quantum of proof sufficient to produce a moral certainty that would convince and satisfy
the conscience of those who act in judgment, is indispensable to overcome the constitutional
presumption of innocence.


Petitioner Caterpillar, Inc. is a foreign corporation engaged in the business of manufacturing shoes,
clothing items, among others. Search warrant applications were filed against Manolo Samson
(hereinafter referred to as Samson) for violations of unfair competition provided under Section 168.3(a)
in relation to Sections 131.3, 123(e) and 170 of Republic Act No. 8293, otherwise known as the
Intellectul Property Code. Search warrants were then issued against respondent Samson and his other
business establishments (Itti Shoes Corporation, Kolms Manufacturing, and Caterpillar Boutique and
General Merchandise). Pursuant to the search warrants various merchandise garments, footwear, bags,
wallets, deodorant sprays, shoe cleaners and accessories, all bearing the trademarks "CAT," "CAT
Tractor and Design" were seized. Respondent Samson filed a motion to quash the search warrants but
was denied. However, the Court ordered the release of the articles that were seized since there was no
criminal action filed against the respondent. Petitioner then filed Motion for Partial Reconsideration but
was denied by the TC. CA also denied the petition after noting that all the criminal complaints that were
filed against the respondent were dismissed by the investigating prosecutor and that the respondent
never denied the existence of the said items.

1) W/N CA erred in upholding the immediate release of the seized items on the ground that there was
no criminal action for unfair competition filed against the respondent?
2) W/N the CA erred in ruling that the subsequent dismissal of the investigating State Prosecutor of
thecriminal complaints against respondent justifies the return of the seized items?

1) NO. The Joint Resolution of the DOJ has become final; therefore no criminal case was filed against the
respondent in relation with the five search warrants that were issued by the Trial Court. There was also
no criminal case filed against the articles that were seized. With these, the seized articles should be
immediately released. Also, the numerous articles of clothing, footwear and accessories, among others,
that were seized had little, if any, evidentiary value for the criminal action of unfair competition. An
action for unfair competition is based on the proposition that no dealer in merchandise should be
allowed to dress his goods in simulation of the goods of another dealer, so that purchasers desiring to
buy the goods of the latter would be induced to buy the goods of the former. The most usual devices
employed in committing this crime are the simulation of labels and the reproduction of form, color and
general appearance of the package used by the pioneer manufacturer or dealer. In the case at hand the
respondent already admitted the existence of the seized articles. The Court therefore ruled that thea
dmissions of the respondent in the case at hand are already sufficient to establish that he used such
trademarks in order to sell merchandise at a commercial scale and that the actual products
manufactured by the respondent need not be presented to prove such fact. Also, there were already
available samples from the purchases as well as photographs of the particular parts of the merchandise
where the trademark in dispute were attached or used, therefore there is no more need for the court to
take custody of the countless articles that were seized.

2) NO. In the case at hand there is no criminal action that has been filed. The Court therefore was left
with no custody of the highly depreciable merchandise that were seized. More importantly, these highly
depreciable articles would have been superfluous if presented as evidence for the following reasons:
(1)the respondent had already admitted that he is the owner of the merchandise seized, which made
use of the trademarks in dispute; (2) the court required the respondent to execute an undertaking to
produce the articles seized when the court requires and had already in its possession a complete
inventory of the items seized as secondary evidence; (3) actual samples of the respondents
merchandise are in the possession of the police officers who had applied for the search warrant, and
photographs thereof had been made part of the records, and respondent did not dispute that these
were obtained from his stores. Where the purpose of presenting as evidence the articles seized is no
longer served, there is no justification for severely curtailing the rights of a person to his property.
Hence, petition denied

Anonymous letter-complaint against atty. Miguel Morales


Atty. Morales, Branch Clerk of Court of MeTC, Branch 67, Manila was investigated on the basis of an
anonymous letter alleging that he was consuming his working hours filing and attending to personal
cases, using office supplies, equipment and utilities. The Office of Court Administrator (OCA) conducted
a spot investigation aided by NBI agents. The team was able to access Atty. Morales personal
computer and print two documents stored in its hard drive, which turned out to be two pleadings, one
filed in the CA and another in the RTC of Manila, both in the name of another lawyer. Atty. Morales
computer was seized and taken in custody of the OCA but was later ordered released on his motion, but
with order to the MISO to first retrieve the files stored therein.

Atty. Morales, in defense, argues that since the pleadings were acquired from his personal computer
which was confiscated without any valid search and seizure order, such evidence should be considered
as the fruits of a poisonous tree as it violated his right to privacy.

The OCA disagreed with the report of the Investigating Judge that there was no evidence to support the
charge against Atty. Morales as no one from the Office of Clerk of Court (OCC) personnel who were
interviewed would give a categorical and positive statement affirming the charges against Atty. Morales,
along with other court personnel also charged in the same case. The OCA recommended that Atty.
Morales should be found guilty of gross misconduct.

1. Are the pleadings found in Atty. Morales's personal computer admissible in the present administrative
case against him?

2. May the right against unreasonable searches and seizures be invoked in an administrative case?

3. Was there consented warrantless search in this case?

4. Is there a ground to hold Atty. Morales liable of the charge?


1. While Atty. Morales may have fallen short of the exacting standards required of every court
employee, the Court cannot use the evidence obtained from his personal computer against him for it
violated his constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures.

2. As expounded in Zulueta v. Court of Appeals, any violation of the aforestated constitutional right
renders the evidence obtained inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

3. Consent to a search is not to be lightly inferred and must be shown by clear and convincing evidence.
It must be voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal search; that is, the consent must be
unequivocal, specific, intelligently given and uncontaminated by any duress or coercion. The burden of
proving, by clear and positive testimony, that the necessary consent was obtained and that it was freely
and voluntarily given lies with the State. Acquiescence in the loss of fundamental rights is not to be
presumed and courts indulge every reasonable presumption against waiver of fundamental
constitutional rights. To constitute a valid consent or waiver of the constitutional guarantee against
obtrusive searches, it must be shown that (1) the right exists; (2) that the person involved had
knowledge, either actual or constructive, of the existence of such right; and (3) the said person had an
actual intention to relinquish the right.

In this case, what is missing is a showing that Atty. Morales had an actual intention to relinquish his
right. While he may have agreed to the opening of his personal computer and the printing of files
therefrom during the spot investigation, it is also of record that Atty. Morales immediately filed an
administrative case against said persons questioning the validity of the investigation, specifically
invoking his constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.

4. And as there is no other evidence, apart from the pleadings, retrieved from the unduly confiscated
personal computer of Atty. Morales, to hold him administratively liable, the Court had no choice but to
dismiss the charges against him for insufficiency of evidence.
Marquez v People

On September 28, 2005, Mrs. Bagongon, the guidance counselor of Emilio Aguinaldo High School,
received reports from some of the concerned parents that an employee of the school had been selling
drugs to the students. When Bagongon showed the files of the schools other non-teaching personnel to
the parents, one student identified the petitioner (through his photograph) as the person who had been
selling drugs to the students.

At around 2:45 p.m. of the same day, Bagongon saw a group of students talking to the petitioner. When
Bagongon was about to approach them, the students scampered away and left the petitioner behind.
Bagongon approached the petitioner, and noticed that the latter was holding a piece of paper.
Bagongon picked up the piece of paper, and saw two tea bag-like sachets containing dried leaves inside.
Bagongon went to the principals office, and showed the sachets to the principal

Afterwards, the school officials called the police. When Senior Police Officer (SPO) 2 Joel Sioson and
Police Officer (PO) 3 Edward Acosta arrived, they inspected the items seized from the petitioner.
Thereafter, they went to the petitioners quarters, introduced themselves as policemen, and brought
the petitioner to the principals office. After further questioning, the police brought the petitioner and
the seized marijuana to the police station. Per Chemistry Report of the Central Police District Crime
Laboratory, the plastic sachets confiscated from the petitioner were examined and found to contain a
total of 1.49 grams of marijuana. From these established facts, it is clear that the petitioner knowingly
possessed marijuanaa prohibited drugwithout legal authority to do so, in violation of Section 11,
Article II of R.A. No. 9165.

In the present petition, the petitioner claims that the police failed to strictly comply with the required
procedures in the handling and custody of the seized drugs. He also alleges that the chain of custody
over the seized evidence had been broken.

Issue: Whether or not the chain of custody is broken

Held: As regards the failure of the police to strictly comply with the provisions of Section 21 of R.A. No.
9165, it is settled that the failure to strictly follow the directives of this section is not fatal and will not
necessarily render the items confiscated from an accused inadmissible. What is of utmost importance is
the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be
utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. In the present case, the succession
of events, established by evidence, shows that the items seized were the same items tested and
subsequently identified and testified to in court. We thus hold that the integrity and evidentiary value of
the drugs seized from the petitioner were duly proven not to have been compromised. Moreover, the
police officers explained during trial the reason for their failure to strictly comply with Section 21 of R.A.
No. 9165.
People v. Lopez

On 26 August 2002, accused-appellant was charged in an Information before the RTC of Quezon City
with violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive
Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. On 24 August 2002, at around 6:30 in the evening, an informant arrived at
Police Station 5 and reported to the Chief of the Station Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU) that a certain
"Sing" had been selling shabu at Brgy. Sta. Lucia, in Novaliches, Quezon City. A police entrapment team
was formed. PO2 Herrera was assigned as poseur-buyer and was given a P100.00 bill, which he marked
"RH," his initials. A pre-operation report bearing control No. 24-SDEU-02 was made and signed by Police
Inspector (P/Insp.) Palaleo Adag dated 24 August 2002. The buy-bust team rode in two vehicles, a Space
Wagon and a Besta van, with a group of police officers inside. They stopped along J.P. Rizal St., Sta.
Lucia, Novaliches, Quezon City. PO2 Herrera and his informant stepped down from their vehicle and
walked. The informant pointed the target pusher to PO2 Herrera. They approached and after being
introduced to Sing, PO2 Herrera bought shabu using the marked P100.00 bill. Sing gave a small plastic
sachet to PO2 Herrera who, thereafter, scratched his head as a signal. The other police companions of
PO2 Herrera, who were deployed nearby, then rushed to the crime scene. PO2 Herrera grabbed Sing
and then frisked him. PO2 Herrera recovered two (2) plastic sachets from Sings pocket. He also got the
marked money from Sing. The following specimens were submitted to the Philippine National Police
(PNP) Crime Laboratory of the Central Police District in Quezon City for chemical analysis and were
confirmed as Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride, a regulated drug. However, the Accused-appellant
Narciso Agulay narrated that at around 8:30 to 9:00 oclock in the evening of 24 August 2002, he was
manning his store when a car stopped in front of it. The passengers of said vehicle opened its window
and poked a gun at him. The passengers alighted from the car, approached him and put handcuffs on
him. Accused-appellant asked what violation he had committed or if they had a search warrant with
them, but the arresting team just told him to go with them. Accused-appellant requested that he be
brought to the barangay hall first, but this request was left unheeded. Instead, he was immediately
brought to the police station. Upon reaching the police station, PO2 Herrera handed something to PO1
Riparip. Thereafter, PO2 Herrera and PO1 Riparip approached and punched him on the chest. They
removed his shorts and showed him a plastic sachet. Later that night, the arresting officers placed him
inside the detention cell. After about 30 minutes, PO1 Riparip and PO2 Herrera approached him. PO2
Herrera told him that if he would not be able to give them P50,000.00, they would file a case against
him, to which he answered, "I could not do anything because I do not have money."

Whether the RTC erred in finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt?

On evaluation of the records, this Court finds no justification to deviate from the lower courts findings
and conclusion that accused-appellant was arrested in flagrante delicto selling shabu. The testimonies of
the prosecution witnesses proved that all the elements of the crime have been established:

that the buy-bust operation took place, and that the shabu subject of the sale was brought to and
identified in court. Moreover, PO2 Herrera, the poseur-buyer, positively identified accused-appellant as
the person who sold to him the sachet containing the crystalline substance which was confirmed to be

In order to successfully prosecute an accused for illegal sale of drugs, the prosecution must be able to
prove the following elements:

(1) identities of the buyer and seller, the object, and the consideration; and
(2) (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.

What is material is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the
presentation in court of the prohibited or regulated drug. The term corpus delicti means the actual
commission by someone of the particular crime charged.

Accused-appellant contends his arrest was illegal, making the sachets of shabu allegedly recovered from
him inadmissible in evidence. Accused-appellants claim is devoid of merit for it is a well-established rule
that an arrest made after an entrapment operation does not require a warrant inasmuch as it is
considered a valid "warrantless arrest," in line with the provisions of Rule 113, Section 5(a) of the
Revised Rules of Court.

On the chain of custody of the seized drugs

The dissent agreed with accused-appellants assertion that the police operatives failed to comply with
the proper procedure in the chain of custody of the seized drugs. It premised that non-compliance with
the procedure in Section 21(a), Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No.
9165 creates an irregularity and overcomes the presumption of regularity accorded police authorities in
the performance of their official duties. This assumption is without merit.

First, it must be made clear that in several cases decided by the Court, failure by the buy-bust team to
comply with said section did not prevent the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty from

Second, even prior to the enactment of R.A. 9165, the requirements contained in Section 21(a) were
already there per Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 3, Series of 1979. Despite the presence of such
regulation and its non-compliance by the buy-bust team, the Court still applied such presumption.

We held: The failure of the arresting police officers to comply with said DDB Regulation No. 3, Series of
1979 is a matter strictly between the Dangerous Drugs Board and the arresting officers and is totally
irrelevant to the prosecution of the criminal case for the reason that the commission of the crime of
illegal sale of a prohibited drug is considered consummated once the sale or transaction is established
and the prosecution thereof is not undermined by the failure of the arresting officers to comply with the
regulations of the Dangerous Drugs Board.
Ambre v. People

On or about April 20, 2005, the Caloocan Police Station Anti-Illegal Drug-Special Operation Unit
conducted a buy-bust operation pursuant to a tip from a police informant that a certain Abdullah Sultan
and his wife Ina Aderp was engaged in the selling of dangerous drugs at a residential compound in
Caloocan City; that buy-bust operation resulted in the arrest of Aderp and a certain Moctar Tagoranao;
that Sultan run away from the scene of the entrapment operation and PO3 Moran, PO2 Masi and PO1
Mateo, pursued him; that in the course of the chase, Sultan led the said police officers to his house; that
inside the house, he police operatives found Ambre, Castro and Mendoza having a pot session; that
Ambre in particular, was caught sniffing what was suspected to be a shabu in a rolled up alumni foil;
and that PO3 Moran ran after Sultan while PO2 Masi and PO1 Mateo arrested Ambre, Castro and
Mendoza for illegal use of shabu.

Issue: Whether or not the arrest of and search done against petitioner is valid.

As a rule, an arrest is considered legitimate if effected with valid warrant of arrest. Section 5, rule 113 of
the rules of criminal procedure, however recognize permissible warrantless arrests: Sec 5. Arrest
without warrant when lawful. A peace officer of private person may, without a warrant, arrest a

a. When in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit an offense;
b. When an offense has in fact just been committed and he has personal knowledge of facts
indicating that the persons be arrested has committed it; and
c. When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who escaped from penal establishment or
place where he is serving final judgement or temporary confined while his case is pending or
has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.

Yes, the Court held that the arrest of and search done against the petitioner is valid. In arrest in
flagrante delicto, the accused is apprehended at the very moment he is committing or attempting to
commit or has just committed an offense in the presence of the arresting officer. Clearly, to constitute a
valid in flagrante delicto arrest, two requisites must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute
an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a
crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer.


FACTS: On 20 December 1993, Nimfa and her wards, siblings Jeson Kevin and Jeson Kirby Dichaves were
abducted and brought to a house in Merville Subdivision, Paraaque. Nimfa was able to recognized one
of the kidnappers
as appellant, because she had seen the latter in her employers office.

The kidnappers called Jepson and demanded for ransom of P26 Million. In one of the calls of the
kidnappers, Jepson was able to recognize the voice of appellant because he had several business
transactions. After, numerous times of negotiation, the parties finally agreed to a ransom of P1.5
Million, some in cash and the balance to be paid in kind, such as jewelry and a pistol.

Appellant asked Jepson to bring the ransom alone at Pancake House in Magallanes Commercial Center
and ordered him to put the bag in the trunk, leave the trunk unlocked, and walk away for ten (10)
minutes without turning back.

P/Insp. Escandor and P/Supt. Chan were assigned to proceed to Magallanes Commercial Center and
brought a camera to take photo and video coverage of the supposed pay-off. He identified Macias
together with appellant and the latter as the one who took the ransom.

Later, appellant checked on his trunk and the bag was already gone. Appellant then apprised him that
his sons and helper were already at the Shell Gasoline Station along South Luzon Expressway. He
immediately went to the place and found his sons and helper seated at the corner of the gas station.

P/Supt. Cruz and his group was assigned at Fort Bonifacio then heard on their radio that the suspects
vehicle, a red Nissan Sentra was heading in their direction. A few minutes later, they saw the red car and
tailed it until it reached Dasmarias Village in Makati. When said car slowed down, they blocked it and
immediately approached the vehicle.

They introduced themselves as police officers and accosted the suspect, who turned out to be appellant.
Appellant suddenly pulled a .38caliber revolver and a scuffle took place. They managed to subdue
appellant and handcuffed him. Appellant was requested to open the compartment and a gray bag was
found inside. P/Supt. Cruz saw money, jewelry and a gun inside the bag.

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

DOCTRINE: The arrest was validly executed pursuant to Section 5, paragraph (b) of Rule 113 of theRules
of Court, which provides:

A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest aperson: x x x;

(b) When an offense has in fact been committed and he has personal knowledge of facts
indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and, (c) x x x.

A search incident to a lawful arrest is also valid under Section 13, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court which

A person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may have been
used or constitute proof in the commission of an offense without a search warrant.

RATIONALE: The instance of lawful warrantless arrest covered by paragraph (b) cited above necessitates
two stringent requirements before a warrantless arrest can be effected:

(1) an offense has just been committed; and

(2) the person making the arrest has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to
be arrested has committed it.

Records show that both requirements are present in the instant case. The police officers present in
Magallanes Commercial Center were able to witness the pay-off which effectively consummates the
crime of kidnapping. Such knowledge was then relayed to the other police officers stationed in Fort
Bonifacio where appellant was expected to pass by. Personal knowledge of facts must be based on
probable cause, which means an actual belief or reasonable grounds of suspicion.

Section 5, Rule 113 does not require the arresting officers to personally witness the commission of the
offense with their own eyes. It is sufficient for the arresting team that they were monitoring the pay-off
for a number of hours long enough for them to be informed that it was indeed appellant, who was the
kidnapper. This is equivalent to personal knowledge based on probable cause. Likewise, the search
conducted inside the car of appellant was legal because the latter consented to such. Even assuming
that appellant did not give his consent for the police to search the car, they can still validly do so by
virtue of a search incident to a lawful arrest under Section 13, Rule 126. In lawful arrests, it becomes
both the duty and the right of the apprehending officers to conduct a warrantless search not only on the
person of the suspect, but also in the permissible area within the latter's reach. Therefore, it is only but
expected and legally so for the police to search his car as he was driving it when he was arrested.

Hing vs. Choachuy


Sometime in April 2005, Aldo Development & Resources, Inc. (owned by Choachuys) filed a case for
Injunction and Damages with Writ of Preliminary Injunction or Temporary Restraining Order against the
Hings. The latter claimed that the Hings constructed a fence without a valid permit and that it would
destroy the walls of their building. The court denied the application for lack of evidence.
So in order to get evidences for the case, on June 2005, Choachuy set-up two video surveillance cameras
facing the Hings property. Their employees even took pictures of the said construction of the fence. The
Hings then filed a case against the Choachuys for violating their right to privacy.

On October 2005, the RTC issued a order granting the application of the Hings for TRO and directed the
Choachuys to remove the two video surveillance cameras they installed. The Choachuys appealed the
case to the Court of Appeals and the RTCs decision was annulled and set aside. The Hings then raised
the case to the Supreme Court.

ISSUE: Whether or not the installation of two video surveillance cameras of Choachuys violated the
Hings right to privacy.

A business oce is entitled to the same privacy when the public is excluded therefrom and only such
individuals as are allowed to enter may come in Thus, an individuals right to privacy under Article 26(1)
of the Civil Code would not be conned to his house or residence as it may extend to places where he
has the right to exclude the public or deny them access.

Reasonable expectation of privacy test is used to determine whether there is a violation of the right to
1.by his conduct, the individual has exhibited an expectation of privacy
2.the expectation is on that society recognizes as reasonable

In this day, video surveillance cameras are installed everywhere for the protection and safety of
everyone. But this should not cover places where there is reasonable expectation of privacy, unless the
consent of the individual, whose right to privacy will be aected, was obtained. Similar to crime under
wire tapping law

Vivares vs. St. Theresas College

In January 2012, Angela Tan, a high school student at St. Theresas College (STC), uploaded on Facebook
several pictures of her and her classmates (Nenita Daluz and Julienne Suzara) wearing only their

Thereafter, some of their classmates reported said photos to their teacher, Mylene Escudero. Escudero,
through her students, viewed and downloaded said pictures. She showed the said pictures to STCs
Discipline-in-Charge for appropriate action.

Later, STC found Tan et al to have violated the students handbook and banned them from marching in
their graduation ceremonies scheduled in March 2012.
The issue went to court but despite a TRO (temporary restraining order) granted by the Cebu RTC
enjoining the school from barring the students in the graduation ceremonies, STC still barred said

Subsequently, Rhonda Vivares, mother of Nenita, and the other mothers filed a petition for the issuance
of the writ of habeas data against the school. They argued, among others, that:

1. The privacy setting of their childrens Facebook accounts was set at Friends Only. They, thus, have a
reasonable expectation of privacy which must be respected.

2. The photos accessed belong to the girls and, thus, cannot be used and reproduced without their
consent. Escudero, however, violated their rights by saving digital copies of the photos and by
subsequently showing them to STCs officials. Thus, the Facebook accounts of the children were
intruded upon;

3. The intrusion into the Facebook accounts, as well as the copying of information, data, and digital
images happened at STCs Computer Laboratory;

They prayed that STC be ordered to surrender and deposit with the court all soft and printed copies of
the subject data and have such data be declared illegally obtained in violation of the childrens right to

The Cebu RTC eventually denied the petition. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petition for writ of habeas data is proper.

HELD: Yes, it is proper but in this case, it will not prosper.

Contrary to the arguments of STC, the Supreme Court ruled that:

1. The petition for writ of habeas data can be availed of even if this is not a case of extralegal
killing or enforced disappearance; and

2. The writ of habeas data can be availed of against STC even if it is not an entity engaged in the
business of gathering, collecting, or storing data or information regarding the person, family,
home and correspondence of the aggrieved party.

First, the Rule on Habeas Data does not state that it can be applied only in cases of extralegal killings or
enforced disappearances. Second, nothing in the Rule would suggest that the habeas data protection
shall be available only against abuses of a person or entity engaged in the business of gathering, storing,
and collecting of data.

Right to Privacy on Social Media (Online Networking Sites)

The Supreme Court ruled that if an online networking site (ONS) like Facebook has privacy tools, and the
user makes use of such privacy tools, then he or she has a reasonable expectation of privacy (right to
informational privacy, that is). Thus, such privacy must be respected and protected.

In this case, however, there is no showing that the students concerned made use of such privacy tools.
Evidence would show that that their post (status) on Facebook were published as Public.

Facebook has the following settings to control as to who can view a users posts on his wall (profile

(a) Public the default setting; every Facebook user can view the photo;
(b) Friends of Friends only the users Facebook friends and their friends can view the photo;
(c) Friends only the users Facebook friends can view the photo;
(d) Custom the photo is made visible only to particular friends and/or networks of the
Facebook user; and
(e) Only Me the digital image can be viewed only by the user.

The default setting is Public and if a user wants to have some privacy, then he must choose any setting
other than Public. If it is true that the students concerned did set the posts subject of this case so
much so that only five people can see them (as they claim), then how come most of their classmates
were able to view them. This fact was not refuted by them. In fact, it was their classmates who informed
and showed their teacher, Escudero, of the said pictures. Therefore, it appears that Tan et al never use
the privacy settings of Facebook hence, they have no reasonable expectation of privacy on the pictures
of them scantily clad.

STC did not violate the students right to privacy. The manner which the school gathered the pictures
cannot be considered illegal. As it appears, it was the classmates of the students who showed the
picture to their teacher and the latter, being the recipient of said pictures, merely delivered them to the
proper school authority and it was for a legal purpose, that is, to discipline their students according to
the standards of the school (to which the students and their parents agreed to in the first place because
of the fact that they enrolled their children there).

Fernando v. St Scholasticas College

Respondents St. Scholasticas College (SSC) and St. Scholasticas Academy-Marikina, Inc. (SSA-
Marikina) are educational institutions organized under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines, with principal
offices and business addresses at Leon Guinto Street, Malate, Manila, and at West Drive, Marikina Heights, Marikina
City, respectively. Respondent SSC is the owner of four (4) parcels of land measuring a total of 56, 306. 80 square
meters, located in Marikina Heights and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 91537. Located within the
property are SSA-Marikina, the residence of the sisters of Benedictine Order, the formation house of the novices,
and the retirement house for the elderly sisters. The property enclosed by a tall concrete perimeter fence built some
thirty (30) years ago. Abutting the fence along the West Drive are buildings, facilities and other improvements.
On September 30, 1994, the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Marikina City enacted Ordinance No. 192
entitled Regulating the Construction of Fences and Walls in The Municipality of Marikina. Sections 3.1 and 5 of the
ordinance are pertinent to the issue at hand, to wit:

Section 3. The standard height of fences of walls allowed under this ordinance are as follows:

(1) Fences on the front yard shall be no more than one (1) meter in height.
Fences in excess of one (1) meter shall be an open fence type, at least eighty
percent (80%) see-thru;
xxx xxxx xxx

Section 5. In no case shall walls and fences be built within the five (5) meter parking area
allowance located between the front monument line and the building line of commercial and industrial
establishments and educational and religious institutions.

On April 2, 2000, the City Government of Marikina sent a letter to the respondents ordering them
to demolish and replace the fence of their Marikina property to make it 80% see-thru, and at the same time, to
move it back about six (6) meters to provide parking space for vehicles to park. On April 26, 2000, the respondents
requested for an extension of time to comply with the directive. In response, the petitioners, through then City
Mayor Bayani F. Fernando, insisted on the enforcement of the subject Ordinance. The respondents filed a petition
for prohibition with an application for a writ of preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order arguing that
the petitioners were acting in excess of jurisdiction in enforcing Ordinance No. 192, asserting that such contravenes
Section 1, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. That demolishing their fence and constructing it 6 meters back would
result in the loss of at least 1, 803. 34 square meters, worth about P9, 041, 700.00, along West Drive, and at least 1,
954. 02 square meters, worth roughly P9, 770, 100. 00, along East Drive. The respondents, thus, asserted that the
implementation of the ordinance on their property would be tantamount to an appropriation of property without
due process of law; and that the petitioners could only appropriate a portion of their property through eminent
domain. They also pointed out that the goal of the provisions to deter lawless elements and criminality did not exist
as the solid concrete walls of the school had served as sufficient protection for many years.

The petitioners, on the other hand, countered that the ordinance was a valid exercise of police
power, by virtue of which, they could restrain property rights for the protection of public safety, health, morals or
the promotion of public convenience and general prosperity.

Issue: Whether or not Sections 3.1 and 5 of Ordinance No. 192 are valid exercises of police power by the City
Government of Marikina and there is a violation of right of privacy?


Compelling the respondents to construct their fence in accordance with the assailed ordinance is, thus, a clear
encroachment on their right to property, which necessarily includes their right to decide how best to protect their
property. It also appears that requiring the exposure of their property via a see-thru fence is violative of their right
to privacy, considering that the residence of the Benedictine nuns is also located within the property. The right to
privacy has long been considered a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution that must be protected from
intrusion or constraint. The right to privacy is essentially the right to be let alone, as governmental powers should
stop short of certain intrusions into the personal life of its citizens. It is inherent in the concept of liberty, enshrined
in the Bill of Rights (Article III) in Sections 1, 2, 3(1), 6, 8, and 17, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. The enforcement
of Section 3.1 would, therefore, result in an undue interference with the respondents rights to property and privacy.
Section 3.1 of Ordinance No. 192 is, thus, also invalid and cannot be enforced against the respondents.