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Admissibility of Evidence marijuana contained in a black bag with his initials, NM.

contained in a black bag with his initials, NM. Thereafter, officers to conduct a warrantless search not only onthe
said specimens were forwarded to the PNP Crime Laboratory for person of the suspect, but also in the permissible area within
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. MEDARIO CALANTIAO chemical analysis. The result of the examination conducted by thelatters reached. Otherwise stated, a valid arrest allows
Y DIMALANTA, G.R. No. 203984, June 18, 2014 P/SINSP. Jesse Dela Rosa revealed that the same was positive for the seizure ofevidence or dangerous weapons either on the
marijuana. person of the one arrestedor within the area of his
FACTS: immediate control. The phrase within the area of his
On Calantiaos defense the taxi he and his companion Rommel Reyes immediate control means the area from within which he
were riding almost collided with another car. Reyes then opened the might gain possession of a weapon or destructible evidence.
Medario Calantiao y Dimalanta was convicted guilty beyond
window and made a fuck yousign against the persons on board of A gun on a table or in a drawer in front of one who is
reasonable doubt of violating Section 11, Article II of Republic Act
that car. That prompted the latter to chase them and when they were arrested can be as dangerous to the arresting officer as one
No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 by the
caught in a traffic jam, PO1 Nelson Mariano; one of the persons on concealed in the clothing of the person arrested. In Valeroso,
RTC of Caloocan City, Branch 127 on July 23, 2009. On appeal is the
board of that other car alighted and kicked their taxi. Calantiao and however, the Court held that the evidence searched and
decision dated January 17, 2012 of the court of Appeals affirming in
Reyes alighted and PO1 Mariano slapped the latter and uttered some seized from him could not be used against him because they
in totothe decision of the RTC.
words, police officer poked his gun against Reyes and when Calantiao were discovered in a room, different from where he was
tried to grab it, the gun fired. Calantiao and Reyes were then being detained, and was in a locked cabinet. Thus, the area
On November 11, 2003 in Caloocan City, Metro Manila, Philippines
handcuffed and were brought to the police station. Thereat, they were searched could not be considered as one within his
and within the jurisdiction of this HonorableCourt, the above-named
subjected to body frisking and their wallets and money were taken. immediate control that he could take any weapon or destroy
accused, without any authority of law, did then and there willfully,
PO1 Mariano then prepared some documents and informed them that any evidence against him.In the case at bar, the marijuana
unlawfully and feloniously have in his possession, custody and
they will be charged for drugs. A newspaper containing marijuana was was found in a black bag in Calantiaos possession and
control two bricks of dried marijuana fruiting tops with a total weight
shown to them and said police officer told them that it would be within his immediate control. He could have easily taken
of 997 .9 grams, knowing the same to be a dangerous drug.
sufficient evidence against them. any weapon from the bag or dumped it to destroy the
evidence inside it. As the black bag containing the
PO1 Nelson Mariano and PO3 Eduardo Ramirez were on duty; a
ISSUE: marijuana was in Calantiaos possession, it was within the
certain Edwin Lojera arrived at their office and asked for police
permissible area that the apprehending officers could validly
assistance regarding a shooting incident. Per report of the latter, it
1. Whether or not that the allegedly seized items are conduct a warrantless search.
appears that while driving a towing truck and traversing along EDSA,
inadmissible evidence in accordance to plain view doctrine.
Balintawak, Quezon City, he had a traffic dispute (gitgitan) with a
The Plain View Doctrine is actually the exception to the
white taxi cab prompting him to follow said vehicle until they reached
2. Whether or not the arresting officers patent non-compliance inadmissibility of evidence obtained in a warrantless search
along 8thAvenue Street corner C-3 Road, Caloocan City. Thereat, the
with the requirements for the proper chain of custody of the incident to a lawful arrest outside the suspects person and
passengers of said taxi cab, one of them was accused Calantiao,
seized dangerous drugs. premises under his immediate control. This is so because
alighted and fired their guns.
objects in the plain view of an officer who has the right to
HELD: be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure
PO1 Mariano testified that they immediately responded to said
and may be presented as evidence. The doctrine is usually
complaint by proceeding to 5th Avenue corner 8th Street, Caloocan
1. In People v. Valeroso, this Court had the occasion to applied where a police officer is not searching for evidence
City where they found the white taxi. While approaching said vehicle,
reiterate the permissible reach of a valid warrantless search against the accused, but nonetheless inadvertently comes
two armed men alighted therefrom, fired their guns towards them and
and seizure incident to a lawful arrest, viz: When an arrest is across an incriminating object. It serves to supplement the
ran away. PO1 Mariano and PO3 Ramirez chased them but they were
made, it is reasonable for the arresting officer tosearch the prior justification whether it be a warrant for another
subdued. PO1 Mariano recovered from Calantiao a black bag
person arrested in order to remove any weapon that the object, hot pursuit, search incident to lawful arrest, or some
containing two bricks of dried marijuana fruiting tops and a magazine
lattermight use in order to resist arrest or effect his escape. other legitimate reason for being present unconnected with a
of super 38 stainless with ammos, while PO3 Ramirez recovered from
Otherwise, theofficers safety might well be endangered, search directed against the accused and permits the
Calantiaos companion a .38 revolver.
and the arrest itselffrustrated. In addition, it is entirely warrantless seizure. The Plain View Doctrine thus finds no
reasonable for the arresting officer tosearch for and seize applicability in Calantiaos situation because the police
The suspects and the confiscated items were then turned over to SPO3
any evidence on the arrestees person in order toprevent its officers purposely searched him upon his arrest. The police
Pablo Temena, police investigator at Bagong Barrio Police Station
concealment or destruction. Moreover, in lawful arrests, it officers did not inadvertently come across the black bag,
for investigation. Thereat, PO1 Mariano marked the bricks of
becomes both the duty and the rightof the apprehending which was in Calantiaos possession; they deliberately

opened it, as part of the search incident to Calantiaos lawful evidence has been preserved will remain. The burden of showing the 6. However, when the DENR scaled the lumber, they found out that
arrest. foregoing to overcome the presumption that the police officers the dimensions and species of the lumber did not tally with the items
handled the seized drugs with regularity, and that they properly mentioned in the receipt.
2. SECTION 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, discharged their duties is on Calantiao. Unfortunately, Calantiao failed 7. Since petitioner could not present any other receipt, Abaniel
Seizedand/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources to discharge such burden.It is worthy to note that these arguments ordered the confiscation of the lumber and told petitioner that they
of DangerousDrugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential were only raised by Calantiao on his appeal. He himself admits this. were going to transport the same to the DENR office for safekeeping.
Chemicals,Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory 23 His theory, from the very beginning, was that he did not do it, and 8. Petitioner was charged with violation of section 68 of P.D. 705.
Equipment. The PDEAshall take charge and have that he was being framed for having offended the police officers. 9. RTC rendered judgment convicting petitioner.
custody of all dangerous drugs, plant sources ofdangerous Simply put, his defense tactic was one of denial and frame-up. 10. Petitioner appealed the decision to the CA.
drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, as well However, those defenses have always been frowned upon by the 11. However, the CA dismissed the appeal outright because the
asinstruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so Court, to wit: The defenses of denial and frame-up have been petitioner failed to furnish the OSG a copy of the appellants brief in
confiscated,seized and/or surrendered, for proper disposition invariably viewedby this Court with disfavor for it can easily be violation of the rules of court.
in the following manner:(a) The apprehending officer/team concocted and is a commonand standard defense ploy in prosecutions
having initial custody andcontrol of the drugs shall, for violation of DangerousDrugs Act. In order to prosper, the defenses Issues:
immediately after seizure and confiscation,physically of denial and frame-up mustbe proved with strong and convincing 1. Whether or not the outright dismissal is justified.
inventory and photograph the same in the presence of evidence. In the cases before us,appellant failed to present sufficient 2. Whether or not the seizure of the lumber is valid
theaccused or the person/s from whom such items were evidence in support of his claims.Aside from his self-serving
confiscated and/orseized, or his/her representative or assertions, no plausible proof was presented to bolster his allegations. Ruling:
counsel, a representative from themedia and the Department 1. (The petitioner submits that the outright denial of her appeal is due
of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public officialwho shall be Hence, as Calantiao failed to show clear and convincing evidence that to to the incompetence and ignorance of her former counsel who even
required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given the apprehending officers were stirred by illicit motive or failed to lied about the fact that he has indeed filed an Appellant's Brief)
acopy thereof; Provided, that the physical inventory and properly perform their duties, their testimonies deserve full faith and
photograph shallbe conducted at the place where the search credit. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court hereby As a general rule, the inadvertence of counsel cannot be considered as
warrant is served; or at thenearest police station or at the AFFIRMSthe January 17, 2012 Decision of the Court of Appeals in an adequate excuse as to call for the appellate court's indulgence
nearest office of the apprehendingofficer/team, whichever is CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No. 04069. except:
practicable, in case of warrantless seizures;Provided, (1) where the reckless or gross negligence of the counsel deprives the
further, that non-compliance with these MA. MIMIE CRESCENCIO Vs. PEOPLE OF THE client of due process of law
requirementsunder justifiable grounds, as long as the PHILIPPINES, (2) when the application of the rule will result in outright deprivation
integrity and the evidentiaryvalue of the seized items are G.R. No. 205015, November 19, 2014 of the clients's Liberty or property
properly preserved by the apprehendingofficer/team, (3) when the interest of justice so requires
shall not render void and invalid such seizures of Facts:
andcustody over said items. 1. Eufemio Abaniel, the Chief of the Forest Protection unit of DENR The Supreme Court agrees that the CA should have taken a liberal
together with other Forest Rangers, went to the petitioner's house. view of the rules and ruled on the merits of the appeal, especially
The prosecution was able to establish the chain of custody 2. Upon arriving thereat, they saw forest products lying under the when what is involved is no less than petitioner's Liberty.
of theseized marijuana from the time the police officers house of petitioner and at the shoreline about two meters away from
confiscated it, to the timeit was turned over to the the house petitioner's house. 2. The constitution recognizes the right of the people to be secured in
investigating officer, up to the time it was broughtto the 3. As the DENR personnel tried to investigate from the neighborhood their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable
forensic chemist for laboratory examination. This Court has as to who was the owner of the lumber, the petitioner admitted its searches and seizures. Nonetheless, the constitutional prohibition
noreason to overrule the RTC and the Court of Appeals, ownership. against warrant less search and seizures admits of certain exceptions,
which both found thechain of custody of the seized drugs to 4. Thereafter, DENR personnel entered the premises of the petitioner's one of which is seizure of evidence in the "plain view". Under the
have not been broken so as to renderthe marijuana seized house without a search warrant. plain view doctrine, objects falling in the plain view of an officer, who
from Calantiao inadmissible in evidence. 5. When the DENR personnel asked for documents to support the has the right to be in the position to have that view, are subject to
petitioner's claim of ownership, the latter showed to them an official seizure and may be presented as evidence.
Furthermore, unless it can be shown that there was bad faith, ill will, receipt issued by Pengavitor Enterprises where she allegedly bought
or tampering of the evidence, the presumption that the integrity of the the said lumber.

There is no question that the DENR personnel were not armed with a Ruling: Patrolmen saw 2 men looking from side to side, one of whom was
search warrant. When they arrived at the petitioner's house, the holding his abdomen. The patrolmen approached these persons and
lumbers were lying under the latter's house and at the shoreline about An arrest without a warrant may be effected by a peace officer or identified themselves as policemen where the 2 suspicious-looking
two meters away from the house of the petitioner. It is clear, therefore, private person, among others, when in his presence the person to be men allegedly tried to run away but were unable to escape because
that the said lumber is plainly exposed to sight. Hence, the seizure arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
falls within the purview of the plain view doctrine. other lawmen surrounded them.
commit an offense; or when an offense has in fact just been
committed, and he has personal knowledge of the facts indicating that
Besides, the DENR personnel had the authority to arrest the petitioner, the person arrested has committed it.
even without a warrant. Section 80 of the Forestry Code authorizes the
forestry officer of employee of the DENR to arrest, even without a The suspects were then searched and one of them who turned out to
warrant, any person who has committed or is committing in his Contrary to the argument of the Solicitor General that when the two be Mengote y Tejas was found with .38 caliber Smith and Wesson
presence any of the offenses defined in the Forestry Code. policemen approached the petitioner, he was actually committing or revolver with 6 live bullets in the chamber. His companion, identified
had just committed the offense of illegal possession of firearms and
ammunitions in the presence of the police officers and consequently as Morellos had a fan knife secreted in his front right pants pocket.
the search and seizure of the contraband was incidental to the lawful The weapons were then taken and Mengote and Morellos were turned
G.R. No. 89139 August 2, 1990 arrest in accordance with Section 12, Rule 126 of the 1985 Rules on over police headquarters for investigation.
Criminal Procedure; At the time the peace officers in this case
ROMEO POSADAS y ZAMORA, petitioner, identified themselves and apprehended the petitioner as he attempted
vs. to flee they did not know that he had committed, or was actually
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE committing the offense of illegal possession of firearms and August 11, 1987: Mengote y Tejas was then filed before RTC for a
OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. ammunitions. They just suspected that he was hiding something in the violation of PD 1866 Illegal Possession of Firearms.
buri bag. They did not know what its contents were. The said
GANCAYCO, J.: circumstances did not justify an arrest without a warrant.

Facts: Aside from the policemen, the prosecution also presented Rigoberto
Danganan who identified the .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver
People v. Mengote y Tejas as among the articles stolen from him during a robbery in his house in
While Pat. Ungab and Umpar were conducting a surveillance along
Magallanes Street, Davao City, they spotted petitioner carrying a Malabon. Danganan pointed at Mengote y Tejas as one of the robbers.
Unlawful warrantless arrest; violation of right against
"buri" bag and they noticed him to be acting suspiciously.They
approached the petitioner and identified themselves as members of the
INP. Petitioner attempted to flee but his attempt to get away was illegal search and seizure
thwarted by the two notwithstanding his resistance. The defense side however, Mengote, made no effort to prove that he
owned the firearm or that he was licensed to possess it and claimed
They then checked the "buri" bag of the petitioner where they found instead that the weapon had been "planted" on him at the time of his
August 8, 1987: Western Police District received a telephone call from
one (1) caliber .38 revolver, two (2) rounds of live ammunition for a . arrest.
38 caliber gun 2 a smoke (tear gas) grenade, 3 and two (2) live an informer that there were 3 suspicious-looking persons at the corner
ammunitions for a .22 caliber gun. 4 the petitioner was asked to show of Juan Luna and North Bay Boulevard, Tondo Manila and because of
the necessary license or authority to possess the firearms and it, a surveillance team of plainclothesmen were then dispatched to the
ammunitions but failed to do so. place. RTC: Mengote was convicted for violation of PD 1866 and sentenced
to reclusion perpetua.
As appeal however by Mengote, it is submitted in the Appellant's
Whether or not the warantless arrest and search was valid. Brief that:

-the revolver should not have been admitted in evidence because of its actually committing, or is attempting shadows but walking in the clear light of day. There was nothing
illegal seizure, no warrant therefor having been previously obtained. to commit an offense; clandestine about his being on that street at that busy hour in the blaze
of the noonday sun.
(b) When an offense has in fact just
-Neither could it have been seized as an incident of a lawful arrest been committed, and he has personal
because the arrest of Mengote was itself unlawful, having been also knowledge of facts indicating that the
effected without a warrant. person to be arrested has committed it; People v. Malmstedt (Court sustained the warrantless arrest of the
and accused because there was a bulge in his waist that excited the
suspicion of the arresting officer and, upon inspection, turned out to
-also contends that the testimony regarding the alleged robbery in
(c) When the person to be arrested is a be a pouch containing hashish) and People v. Claudio (accused
Danganan's house was irrelevant and should also have been prisoner who has escaped from a penal boarded a bus and placed the buri bag she was carrying behind the
disregarded by the trial court. establishment or place where he is seat of the arresting officer while she herself sat in the seat before
serving final judgment or temporarily him. His suspicion aroused, he surreptitiously examined the bag,
confined while his case is pending, or has which he found to contain marijuana. He then and there made the
escaped while being transferred from one warrantless arrest and seizure that we subsequently upheld on the
ISSUE: confinement to another. ground that probable cause had been sufficiently established) do not
Whether the warrantless search and seizure was illegal? apply to this case. These cases do not apply for there was nothing to
SC: Does not agree with the Solicitor General. support the arresting officers' suspicion other than Mengote's
Whether the warrantless arrest was illegal? Par.c of Section 5 is obviously inapplicable as Mengote was darting eyes and his hand on his abdomen. By no stretch of
not an escapee from a penal institution when he was imagination could it have been inferred from these acts that an
arrested. We therefore confine ourselves to determine offense has been committed, was actually being committed or was at
lawfulness of his arrest under either Par. (a) or Par. (b) of least being attempted in their presence.
this section. Instead, the case before us is similar to People v. Aminnudin where the
Paragraphs a and b however, have not been established in Court held that the warrantless arrest of the accused was
Yes, the warrantless search and arrest was illegal. the case. unconstitutional. This was effected while he was coming down a
vessel, to all appearances no less innocent than the other disembarking
At the time of the arrest in question, Mengote y Tejas was merely passengers. He had not committed nor was he actually committing or
There is no question that evidence obtained as a result of an illegal
"looking from side to side" and "holding his abdomen," according to attempting to commit an offense in the presence of the arresting
search or seizure is inadmissible in any proceeding for any purpose. In the arresting officers themselves. There was apparently no offense that officers. He was not even acting suspiciously. In short, there was no
fact, illegal search or seizure is an absolute prohibition of Article 3(2) had just been committed or was being actually committed or at least probable cause that, as the prosecution incorrectly suggested,
of the Constitution. The Solicitor General, however, while conceding being attempted by Mengote in their presence. dispensed with the constitutional requirement of a warrant.
the rule, maintains that it is not applicable in the case at bar. His
As to the argument actual existence of an offense was not necessary as
reason is that the arrest and search of Mengote and the seizure of the long as Mengote's acts "created a reasonable suspicion on the part of
revolver from him were lawful under Rule 113, Section 5, of the the arresting officers and induced in them the belief that an offense SC: Moreover, Paragraph b is all the more not applicable for its
Rules of Court: had been committed and that the accused-appellant had committed requirements have not been satisfied. The prosecution has not shown
it." that at the time of Mengote's arrest an offense had in fact just been
committed and that the arresting officers had personal knowledge of
SC: looking from side to side and holding his abdomen and in facts indicating that Mengote had committed it. All they had was
a place not exactly forsaken certainly do not constitute sinister hearsay information from the telephone caller, and about a crime that
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when acts.
lawful. A peace officer or private had yet to be committed.
person may without a warrant, arrest a It would have been different if Mengote had been apprehended at an
person: Cdpr ungodly hour and in a place where he had no reason to be, like a
darkened alley at 3 o'clock in the morning. But he was arrested at As for the illegal possession or the firearm found on Mengote's
(a) When, in his presence, the person 11:30 in the morning and in a crowded street shortly after alighting person, the policemen discovered this only after he had been searched
to be arrested has committed, is from a passenger jeep with his companion. He was not skulking in the and the investigation conducted later revealed that he was not its

owners nor was he licensed to possess it. Before these events, the Manalilis version of the story was that early afternoon he was riding through the warrant procedure, excused only by exigent
peace officers had no knowledge even of Mengote' identity, let alone in a tricycle when 3 policemen stopped the tricycle and informed them circumstances. As People vsLacerna enumerated 5 recognized
the fact (or suspicion) that he was unlawfully carrying a firearm or of the suspected possession of mj, the policemen bodily searched both exceptions to the rule against warrantless searches and seizures: 1)
that he was involved in the robbery of Danganan's house. (In short
Manalili and the driver and upon finding nothing illegal on their search incidental to lawful arrest; 2) search of moving vehicles; 3)
there was no investigation done, policemen had no personal
knowledge about Mengote) persons, let the driver go but brought Manalili along to the police seizure in plain view; 4) customs search; 5) waiver of the accused of
station. Manalili while on the way to the station saw a neighbor whom his rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. From Espiritus
he signaled to follow them and when he was again searched in the experience as a member of the Anti-Narcotics Unit of Caloocan City
It would be a sad day, indeed, if any person could be summarily station, he was asked to strip his pants where they found nothing Police, Manalilis suspicious behavior was characteristic of drug
arrested and searched just because he is holding his abdomen, even if illegal. Said neighbor then asked the policemen to let Manalili go addicts who were high.
it be possibly because of a stomachache, or if a peace officer could seeing as they had not found anything illegal but Manalili was put on II. SGs contention that Manalili effectively waived the
clamp handcuffs on any person with a shifty look on suspicion that he a cell who was brought to a fiscal later that day and was told not to inadmissibility of the evidence illegally obtained when he failed to
may have committed a criminal act or is actually committing or
say anything despite his saying that the policemen had not found mj raise this issue or object during trial. A valid waiver of right against
attempting it. Without the evidence of the firearm taken from him at
the time of his illegal arrest, the prosecution has lost its most on his person. Said tricycle driver and neighbor testified on court as to unreasonable searches and seizures require the concurrence of these
important exhibit and must therefore fail. The testimonial evidence how the 2 searches yielded nothing illegal on Manalilis person. requisites: 1) the right to be waived existed; 2) the person waiving it
against Mengote (which is based on the said firearm) is not sufficient had knowledge; and 3) he/she had actual intention to relinquish the
to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt of the crime imputed to Issues: right. In this case however, it is deemed that Manalili has waived such
him. 1. W/N evidence seized during a stop-and-frisk is admissible. right for failure to raise its violation before the trial court, at the
There is no need therefore to discuss the other issue in depth as the 2. W/N Manalilis actions constituted a waiver of his rights. earliest opportunity possible. Issues not raised below cannot be
ruling is sufficient enough to sustain Mengote's exoneration. 3. W/N the evidence is sufficient to prove Manalilis guilt. pleaded for the first time on appeal.
III.Manalilis contention that the charge was trumped up to extort
FINAL DISPOSITIVE PORTION: Decision is reversed and set aside.
Mengote is acquitted. Ruling: money and testimonies of the arresting officers were inconsistent, it
I. In Terry vs Ohio, a stop-and-frisk was defined as the vernacular held that the trial courts assessment of the credibility of the witnesses
Manalilivs CA designation of the right of a police officer to stop a citizen on the particularly when affirmed by CA is accorded great weight and
street, interrogate him and pat him for weapons: W)here a police respect as it had opportunity to observe their demeanor and
Facts: officer observes an unusual conduct which leads him reasonably to deportment as they testified before it.
This is a petition for certiorari seeking the reversal of CAs decision in conclude in light of his experience that criminal activity may be afoot The elements of illegal possession of mj are: a) the accused is in
affirming TCs decision on convicting Manalili of illegal possession and that the persons with whom he is dealing may be armed and possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited
of prohibited drug violating RA 6425. presently dangerous, where in the course of investigating this behavior drug; b) such possession is not authorized by law; and c) the accused
Police operatives Espiritu, Lumabas and driver Enriquez conducted he identified himself as a policeman and makes reasonable inquiries, freely and consciously possessed the said drug. The substance found
surveillance along the front of Kalookan Cemetery based on the and where nothing in the initial stages of the encounter serves to on Manalilis wallet was identified as mj which was prohibited and
information that drug addicts were roaming around in the area, saw a dispel his reasonable fear for his own or others' safety, he is entitled knowingly without authority. Considering that he was high and tried
man who appeared to be high on drugs and introduced themselves as for the protection of himself and others in the area to conduct a to avoid and resist, such behavior clearly shows that he knew he was
policemen. Said man avoided them and tried to resist, when they carefully limited search of the outer clothing of such persons in an holding mj and it was prohibited by law.
asked what the man was holding in his hand, the man held out his attempt to discover weapons which might be used to assault him.
wallet and allowed Espiritu to examine it, who found what he Such a search is a reasonable search under the Fourth Amendment,
suspected to be crushed mj leaves. The man was brought to the Anti- and any weapon seized may properly be introduced in evidence Esquillo vs. People
Narcotics Unit and turned out to be Manalili. The substance found on against the person from whom they were taken. G.R 182010
Manalilis wallet was sent to NBI Foresic Chemistry Section and was It did not, however abandon the rule that the police must, whenever August 25, 2010
confirmed as mj. practicable, obtain advance judicial approval of searches and seizures

Facts: PO1 Cruzin and PO2 Aguas were sent to conduct purposes of investigating possible criminal behavior even without "improper and unpleasant movements" together with Erick Dasilla
surveillance on the activities of an alleged notorious snatcher probable cause; and (2) the more pressing interest of safety and self- ("Dasilla"), with one of them passing a plastic sachet to the other. The
operating in the Pasay area known only as Ryan. preservation which permit the police officer to take steps to assure RTC convicted him of the crime of Illegal Possession of Dangerous
himself that the person with whom he deals is not armed with a deadly Drugs. Accordingly, Comerciante appealed with the Court of Appeals
As PO1 Cruzin alighted from the private vehicle that weapon that could unexpectedly and fatally be used against the police but the CA merely re-affirmed the decision of the RTC. On appeal
brought him and PO2 Aguas to the target area, he glanced in the officer. with the Supreme Court, it was held that the search conducted on
Comerciante was illegal as "improper and unpleasant movements"
direction of petitioner who was standing three meters away and seen
The circumstances under which petitioner was arrested indeed cannot be considered as probable cause, hence, the warrantless arrest
placing inside a yellow cigarette case what appeared to be a small
engender the belief that a search on her person was warranted: The was unlawful. Considering the foregoing, the evidence acquired from
heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white police officers were on a surveillance operation as part of their law such search is inadmissible (Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine).
substance. While PO1 Cruz was not sure what the plastic sachet enforcement efforts when PO1 Cruzin saw petitioner placing a plastic Hence, the SC acquitted Comerciante and exonerated him from all
contained, he became suspicious when petitioner started acting sachet containing white crystalline substance into her cigarette case. criminal liability.
strangely as he began to approach her. He then introduced himself as Given his training as a law enforcement officer, it was instinctive on
a police officer to petitioner and inquired about the plastic sachet she his part to be drawn to curiosity and to approach her. That petitioner DOCTRINE
was placing inside her cigarette case. Instead of replying, however, reacted by attempting to flee after he introduced himself as a police
petitioner attempted to flee to her house nearby but was timely officer and inquired about the contents of the plastic sachet all the Exclusionary Rule
restrained by PO1 Cruzin who then requested her to take out the more pricked his curiosity.
transparent plastic sachet from the cigarette case and thereafter To protect people from unreasonable searches and seizures,
arrested her. From these standards, the Court finds that the questioned act Section 3(2), Article III of the Constitution provides an
of the police officers constituted a valid stop-and-frisk operation. exclusionary rule which instructs that evidence obtained
RTC found appellant guilty of illegal possession of The search/seizure of the suspected shabu initially noticed in and confiscated during unreasonable searches and seizures
Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride or shabu. petitioners possession - later voluntarily exhibited[24] to the police are deemed tainted and should be excluded for being the
operative - was undertaken after she was interrogated on what she fruit of a poisonous tree. Such pieces of evidence are
placed inside a cigarette case, and after PO1 Cruzin introduced therefore inadmissible.
Before the Court of Appeals, appellant questioned as illegal
himself to petitioner as a police officer. And, at the time of her arrest, The law requires that there first be a lawful arrest before a
her arrest without warrant to thus render any evidence obtained on the
petitioner was exhibiting suspicious behavior and in fact attempted to search can be made and this process cannot be done in the
occasion thereof inadmissible. She assails the appellate courts
flee after the police officer had identified himself. Absent any proof of reverse.
application of the stop-and-frisk principle in light of PO1 Cruzins
motive to falsely accuse petitioner of such a grave offense, the While the stop and frisk is an instance wherein a warrantless
failure to justify his suspicion that a crime was being committed, he is allowed, the same cannot be done without probable cause
having merely noticed her placing something inside a cigarette case presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty and the
findings of the trial court with respect to the credibility of witnesses based on the circumstances.
which could hardly be deemed suspicious. To petitioner, such legal For a warrantless arrest to operate the following elements
principle could only be invoked if there were overt acts constituting prevail over that of petitioner
must be met:
unusual conduct that would arouse the suspicion Exceptions Stop and Frisk o Person arrested must execute an overt act
indicating that he has just committed, is actually
Issue: Whether or not the stop-and-frisk principle was properly COMERCIANTE V. PEOPLE | GR NO. 205926 committing or is attempting to commit a crime;
applied by the CA. and
PERLAS-BERNABE, J. o Such act is done in the presence or within the
Held: In a stop-and-frisk, it is essential is that a genuine reason view of the arresting officer (there is personal
must exist, in light of the police officers experience and surrounding knowledge on the part of the officer).
conditions, to warrant the belief that the person who manifests
unusual suspicious conduct has weapons or contraband concealed An information was filed with the RTC of Mandaluyong, Branch 213,
about him. Such a stop-and-frisk practice serves a dual purpose: (1) against Alvin Comerciante ("Comerciante"). He was found to have in IMPORTANT PEOPLE
the general interest of effective crime prevention and detection, which possession two (2) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets with shabu
underlies the recognition that a police officer may, under appropriate which the police acquired after he was frisked after the police spotted Alvin Comerciante (accused) [Commerciante]
circumstances and in an appropriate manner, approach a person for him (from a distance of ten [10] meters) standing and showing

Erick Dasilla (person Comerciante was standing with, was eventually c. Ordered to pay the fine of Php 300,000. violating Section 11, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165. The
acquitted before Comerciante) [Dasilla] 6. Comerciante appealed to the CA but the CA affirmed his Director of the Bureau of Corrections is ordered to cause his
conviction on 20 October 2011. immediate release, unless he is being lawfully held for any other
Agent Eduardo Radan (Agent of NARCOTICS Group) [Agent Radan] 7. With the denial of his Motion for Reconsideration, Comerciante reason.
filed a Rule 45 petition with the Supreme Court.
PO3 BienvyCalag II (arresting officer) [PO3 Calag] SO ORDERED.


1. 30 July 2003 Agent Radan and PO3 Calag were on a 1. Whether or not the CA correctily affirmed Comerciante's OTHER NOTES
motorcycle patrolling the area on their way to visit their friend. conviction. No. The evidence against Comerciante is
a. On the way to visit their friend inadmissible as it was procured through an unlawful search Evidence obtained through unlawful seizures should be excluded as
b. Cruising at a speed of 30 KM/HR along Private Rode, (fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine). The same should result evidence because it is "the only practical means of enforcing the
Mandaluyong in his acquittal. constitutional injunction against unreasonable searches and seizures."
c. Spotted at a distance of ten (10) meters, two (2) men in a. The OSG's argument, on behalf of the People of the (People v. Cogaed, 731 SCRA 427 [2014]).
front of a jeepney Philippines, was that the warrantless arrest was valid
d. Men were identified as: Comerciante and Dasilla pursuant to the stop and frisk rule, and hence
i. Men were standing and showing "improper Comerciante's conviction should be upheld.
and unpleasant movements" b. However, the SC held that:
ii. One of them was handing plastic sachets to i. There was no lawful arrest.
the other ii. Because it is highly implausible that PO3
e. At five (5) meters, PO3 Calag introduced himself as a Calag, even assuming that he has perfect
police officer and arrested the two men, confiscating vision, would be able to identify from 10
two small plastic sachets containing shabu. meters, while moving at a speed of 30 km/hr
2. After the prosecution rested its case, Dasilla filed a demurrer to on the motorcycle, miniscule amounts of
evidence subsequently granted by the RTC, which resulted to shabu inside two (2) very small plastic
Dasilla's acquittal. sachets as held by Comerciante.
3. Comerciante failed to file his own demurrer and the RTC iii. There is no overt act that could be properly
considered this as him waiving his right to do so and ordered him attributed to Comerciante as to rouse
to present his evidence suspicion in the mind of PO3 Calag that the
4. Comerciante averred, in his defense, that: former had just committed, was currently
a. PO3 Calag was looking for "Barok" a notorious drug committing, or was about to commit a crime.
pusher. iv. The acts of standing around with a
b. That after being arrested, they were asked money in companion handing over something cannot
exchange for their release. be considered as a criminal act.
c. When they failed to meet the demand, they were c. Hence, there being no lawful arrest, the evidence
brought to another police station and underwent procured is inadmissible, being a fruit of the poisonous
inquest proceedings. tree.
5. The RTC ruled on 29 July 2009 that Comerciante was guilty of DISPOSITIVE PORTION
violating Section 11, Article II of RA 9165
a. RTC ruled that PO3 Calag conducted a valid WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. Accordingly, the Decision
warrantless search since the officer saw Comerciante in dated October 20, 2011 and the Resolution dated February 29, 2013 of
plain view carrying the sachets. the Court of Appeals in C.A.-G.R. CR No. 32813 are hereby
b. Sentenced to twelve (12) years and one (1) day to REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, petitioner Alvin
twenty (20) years Comerciante y. Gonzales is hereby ACQUITTED of the crime