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22. People v.

Casimiro Relevant Issue:


G.R. No. 146277 June 20, 2002 Was the receipt legally obtained so as to render it
admissible as evidence?
TOPIC: INSTANCES OF CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION
Ruling: No
Summary:
Ratio:
This case is an instant appeal assailing the decision of
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in finding the accused The receipt could not be considered evidence against
Casimiro guilty of violating RA 6425. He allege that there was accused-appellant because it was signed by him without the
an insufficient amount of evidence to prove his guilt beyond assistance of counsel. Art. III, §12(1) of the Constitution
reasonable doubt. The SC agrees with this allegation saying provides:
that one such infirmity is the inadmissible “Receipt of Property
Seized” because it was signed by the accused without the Any person under investigation for the commission of
assistance of a counsel an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to
remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel
Doctrine: preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the
services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights
A receipt of property seized signed without the cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of
assistance of counsel is inadmissible in Court and is presumed counsel.
to have been obtained through coercion.
The receipt states that a brick of dried marijuana leaves
Facts: was delivered by the suspect to a poseur buyer and signed by
This case is an instant appeal assailing the decision of accused-appellant Albert Casimiro as "suspect/ owner." In
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in finding the accused effect, the accused admitted that he delivered a prohibited drug
Casimiro guilty of violating RA 6425. The NarCom of Baguio to another, which is an offense under the law. Having been
City acting on an information from an informer conducted a made without the assistance of counsel, it cannot be accepted
buy-bust operations. During that operations PO2 Supa acting as as proof that marijuana was seized from him. It is inadmissible
a poseur-buyer allegedly bought from the accused a brick of in evidence.
marijuana for Php 1,500.00. After the alleged transaction was In People v. Obrero, the Court held that an uncounseled
completed PO2 Supa and the other agents of the NarCom statement is presumed by the Constitution to be
arrested Casimiro and brought him to the NarCom Office in psychologically coerced. Swept into an unfamiliar environment
Baguio City where he was asked to sign various documents and surrounded by intimidating figures typical of the
including the receipt of property seized without the assistance atmosphere of a police interrogation, the suspect needs the
of counsel.
guiding hand of counsel. Thus it cannot be said that, in signing
the receipt without a lawyer, the accused acted willingly,
intelligently, and freely.