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PILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORPORATION AND PETRON CORPORATION, PETITIONERS,

VS.
ROMARS INTERNATIONAL GASES CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

FACTS:

Petitioners received information that respondent was selling, offering for sale, or distributing liquefied
petroleum gas (LPG) by illegally refilling the steel cylinders manufactured by and bearing the duly
registered trademark and device of respondent Petron. Petitioners then requested the National Bureau of
Investigation (NBI) to investigate said activities of respondent for the purpose of apprehending and
prosecuting establishments conducting illegal refilling, distribution and/or sale of LPG products using the
same containers of Petron and Shell, which acts constitute a violation of Section 168, in relation to Section
170 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines,
and/or Section 2 of R.A. No. 623, otherwise known as An Act To Regulate the Use of Duly Stamped or
Marked Bottles, Boxes, Casks, Kegs, Barrels and Other Similar Containers.

The NBI proceeded with their investigation and reportedly found commercial quantities of Petron Gasul
and Shellane cylinders stockpiled at respondent's warehouse. They also witnessed trucks coming from
respondent's refilling facility loaded with Gasul, Shellane and Marsflame cylinders, which then deposit said
cylinders in different places, one of them a store called "Edrich Enterprises". Thus, the NBI, in behalf of
Petron and Shell, filed with the Regional Trial Court of Naga City (RTC-Naga), two separate Applications
for Search Warrant for Violation of Section 155.1, in relation to Section 1707 of R.A. No. 8293 against
respondent and/or its occupants. On October 23, 2002, the RTC-Naga City issued an Order granting said
Applications and Search Warrant Nos. 2002-27 and 2002-28 were issued. On the same day, the NBI served
the warrants at the respondent's premises in an orderly and peaceful manner, and articles or items
described in the warrants were seized.

On November 4, 2002, respondent filed a Motion to Quash Search Warrant Nos. 2002-27 and 2002-28,
where the only grounds cited were: (a) there was no probable cause; (b) there had been a lapse of four
weeks from the date of the test-buy to the date of the search and seizure operations; (c) most of the
cylinders seized were not owned by respondent but by a third person; and (d) Edrich Enterprises is an
authorized outlet of Gasul and Marsflame.

In an Order dated February 21, 2003, the RTC-Naga denied the Motion to Quash.
However, on March 27,2003, respondent's new counsel filed an Appearance with Motion for
Reconsideration. It was only in said motion where respondent raised for the first time, the issue of the
impropriety of filing the Application for Search Warrant at the RTC-Naga City when the alleged crime was
committed in a place within the territorial jurisdiction of the RTC-Iriga City. Respondent pointed out that
the application filed with the RTC-Naga failed to state any compelling reason to justify the filing of the
same in a court which does not have territorial jurisdiction over the place of the commission of the crime,
as required by Section 2 (b), Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. In an Order dated July
28, 2003,the RTC-Naga issued an Order granting respondent's Motion for Reconsideration, thereby
quashing Search Warrant Nos. 2002-27 and 2002-28.
Petitioner then appealed to the CA, but the appellate court affirmed the RTC Order quashing the search
warrants. Hence this petition

ISSUE
1. Whether or not the venue for the application for search warrant is jurisdictional?
RULING

No.

Section 2, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides thus:

SEC. 2. Court where applications for search warrant shall be filed. - An application for search warrant shall
be filed with the following:

(a) Any court within whose territorial jurisdiction a crime was committed.

(b) For compelling reasons stated in the application, any court within the judicial region where the crime
was committed if the place of the commission of the crime is known, or any court within the judicial
region where the warrant shall be enforced.

However, if the criminal action has already been filed, the application shall only be made in the court
where the criminal action is pending.

The above provision is clear enough. Under paragraph (b) thereof, the application for search warrant in
this case should have stated compelling reasons why the same was being filed with the RTC-Naga instead
of the RTC-Iriga City, considering that it is the latter court that has territorial jurisdiction over the place
where the alleged crime was committed and also the place where the search warrant was enforced. The
wordings of the provision is of a mandatory nature, requiring a statement of compelling reasons if the
application is filed in a court which does not have territorial jurisdiction over the place of commission of
the crime. Since Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution guarantees the right of persons to be free
from unreasonable searches and seizures, and search warrants constitute a limitation on this right, then
Section 2, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure should be construed strictly against state
authorities who would be enforcing the search warrants. It is jurisprudentially settled that the concept of
venue of actions in criminal cases, unlike in civil cases, is jurisdictional. The place where the crime was
committed determines not only the venue of the action but is an essential element of jurisdiction.

Unfortunately, the foregoing reasoning of the CA, is inceptionally flawed, because as pronounced by the
Court in Malaloan v. Court of Appeals,14 and reiterated in the more recent Worldwide Web Corporation v.
People of the Philippines,15 to wit:

x x x as we held in Malaloan v. Court of Appeals, an application for a search warrant is a "special criminal
process," rather than a criminal action:

The basic flaw in this reasoning is in erroneously equating the application for and the obtention of a
search warrant with the institution and prosecution of a criminal action in a trial court. It would thus
categorize what is only a special criminal process, the power to issue which is inherent in all courts, as
equivalent to a criminal action, jurisdiction over which is reposed in specific courts of indicated
competence. It ignores the fact that the requisites, procedure and purpose for the issuance of a search
warrant are completely different from those for the institution of a criminal action.

For, indeed, a warrant, such as a warrant of arrest or a search warrant, merely constitutes process. A search
warrant is defined in our jurisdiction as an order in writing issued in the name of the People of the
Philippines signed by a judge and directed to a peace officer, commanding him to search for personal
property and bring it before the court. It is a special and peculiar remedy, drastic in its nature, and made
necessary because of a public necessity.
As elucidated by the Court, proceedings for said applications are not criminal in nature and, thus, the rule
that venue is jurisdictional does not apply thereto. Evidently, the issue of whether the application should
have been filed in RTC-Iriga City or RTC-Naga, is not one involving jurisdiction because, as stated in the
afore-quoted case, the power to issue a special criminal process is inherent in all courts.

2. Santos vs Pryce Gases

Rowland Kim Santos, petitioner, vs PRYCE Gas Inc., respondents

FACTS:

Respondent Pryce Gases, Inc, is a domestic corporation engaged in manufacturing and distributing
industrial gases and LPG products. Its branch in Iloilo City has been selling LPG products directly or
through various dealers to hospitals, restaurants and other business establishments. In 2002, Pryce
noticed the decline of return of LPG cylinders for refilling. Pryce employees suspected that LPG cylinders
had been removed from market circulation and refilled by their competitors, one of whom was Sun Gas,
Inc. Petitioner Rowland Kim Santos is the manager of Sun Gas, Inc.

Arnold T. Figueroa, respondent’s sales manager for Panay, sought the assistance of the Criminal
Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to recover the LPG cylinders allegedly in the possession of Sun
Gas, Inc. Acting onFigueroa’s complaint, CIDG operatives conducted surveillance on the warehouse of Sun
Gas, Inc. located at 130 Timawa Avenue, Molo, Iloilo. The CIDG operatives requested the Bureau of Fire
Protection (BFP) to conduct a routine fire inspection at Sun Gas, Inc.’s warehouse with some of the CIDG
operative. The CIDG operatives entered the warehouse and were able to take photographs of the LPG
cylinders.

PO2 Vicente D. Demandara, Jr. applied before the RTC of Iloilo City for a warrant to search the premises
described as No. 130, Timawa Avenue, Molo, Iloilo. The application alleged that petitioner was in
possession of Pryce LPG tanks, the Pryce logos of some of which were scraped off and replaced with a
Sun Gas, Inc. marking, and other materials used in tampering Pryce gas tanks. It also averred that
petitioner was illegally distributing Pryce LPG products without the consent of respondent, in violation of
Section 2 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 623, as amended by R.A. No. 5700. After conducting searching
questions on witnesses PO1 Aldrin Ligan, a CIDG operative, and Richard Oliveros, an employee of Pryce
Gases, Inc., Hon. Rene B. Honrado, the presiding judge of Branch 29, issued the corresponding search
warrant. The search warrant authorized the seizure of the following items:

1. Assorted sizes of PRYCE LPG GAS TANKS CYLINDERS in different kilograms.

2. Suspected LPG gas tanks cylinders with printed/mark SUN GAS INC., trademark and embossed Pryce
Gas Trademark scrapped off.

3. Other materials used in tampering the PRYCE LPG GAS TANKS cylinders.

On the same day, CIDG agents served the search warrant on petitioner and were able to recover PRYCE
LPG gas tanks in different volumes, some with seal and some without. On 7 June 2002, petitioner filed a
Motion to Quash the search warrant on the grounds of lack of probable cause as well as deception and
fraud employed in obtaining evidence in support of the application therefor, in violation of Article III,
Section 2 of the Constitution and Rule 126, Sections 4 and 5 of the Rules of Court. After hearing, RTC
granted the motion to quash, stating that the probable cause as found by it at the time of the application
for search warrant fell short of the requisite probable cause necessary to sustain the validity of the search
warrant. Respondent filed a manifestation and motion to hold in abeyance the release of the seized items.
It also filed a motion for reconsideration of the 16 July 2002 Order but was denied in an Order dated 9
August 2002. Respondent elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals via a special civil action for
certiorari, arguing that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in quashing the search warrant.
The petition essentially questioned the quashal of the search warrant despite a prior finding of probable
cause and the failure of petitioner to prove that he bought the seized items from respondent. It also
challenged petitioner’s personality to file the motion to quash.

On 16 January 2004, the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed Decision, which set aside the two orders
of the trial court. The appellate court also ordered the return of the seized items to respondent. Petitioner
sought reconsideration but was denied in an order dated 16 July 2004.

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not petitioner has authority to seek the quashal of the search warrant.

2. Who has proper custody of the seized items.

RULING:

1. YES. Well-settled is the rule that the legality of a seizure can be contested only by the party whose rights
have been impaired thereby, and the objection to an unlawful search and seizure is purely personal and
cannot be availed of by third parties.

Petitioner is the real party-in-interest to seek the quashal of the search warrant for the obvious reason
that the search warrant, in which petitioner was solely named as respondent, was directed against the
premises and articles over which petitioner had control and supervision. Petitioner was directly prejudiced
or injured by the seizure of the gas tanks because petitioner was directly accountable as manager to the
purported owner of the seized items. Respondent should not be allowed thereafter to question
petitioner’s authority to assail the search warrant. Moreover, the search warrant was directed against
petitioner for allegedly using Pryce LPG cylinders without the authority of respondent. The Court of
Appeals misapplied the ruling in Stonehill, et al. v. Diokno, et al.

that only a corporation has the exclusive right to question the seizure of items belonging to the
corporation on the ground that the latter has a personality distinct from the officers and
shareholders of the corporation. Assuming arguendo that Sun Gas, Inc. was the owner of the
seized items, petitioner, as the manager of Sun Gas, Inc., had the authority to question the seizure
of the items belonging to Sun Gas, Inc. Unlike natural persons, corporations may perform physical
actions only through properly delegated individuals; namely, their officers and/or agents.

As stated above, respondent cannot belatedly question petitioner’s authority to act on behalf of Sun Gas,
Inc. when it had already acknowledged petitioner’s authority at the time of the application of the search
warrant.

2. The resolution of the second issue as to who has legal custody of the seized items depends upon the
determination of the existence of probable cause in the issuance of the search warrant. In the questioned
Order dated 16 July 2002, the trial court reversed its earlier finding of probable cause on the ground that
the failure of the CIDG agents to seize other materials and tools used by petitioner to tamper with the
LPG cylinders invalidated the search warrant because there would be nothing to show or prove that
accused had committed the offense.

The requisites for a search warrants validity, the absence of even one will cause its downright nullification:
(1) it must be issued upon probable cause; (2) the probable cause must be determined by the judge
himself and not by the applicant or any other person; (3) in the determination of probable cause, the
judge must examine, under oath or affirmation, the complainant and such witnesses as the latter may
produce; and (4) the warrant issued must particularly describe the place to be searched and persons or
things to be seized. In quashing the search warrant, it would appear that the trial court had raised the
standard of probable cause to whether there was sufficient cause to hold petitioner for trial. In so doing,
the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion.

Probable cause for a search warrant is defined as such facts and circumstances which would lead a
reasonably discrete and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects
sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched. A finding of probable cause
needs only to rest on evidence showing that, more likely than not, a crime has been committed and that it
was committed by the accused. Probable cause demands more than bare suspicion; it requires less than
evidence which would justify conviction. The existence depends to a large degree upon the finding or
opinion of the judge conducting the examination. However, the findings of the judge should not
disregard the facts before him nor run counter to the clear dictates of reason.

Section 3 of R.A. No. 623, as amended, clearly creates a prima facie presumption of the unlawful use of
gas cylinders based on two separate acts, namely, the unauthorized use of the cylinder by a person other
than the registered manufacturer and the possession thereof by a dealer. The trial court’s conclusion that
the mere possession by petitioner of the seized gas cylinders was not punishable under Section 2 of R.A.
No. 623, as amended, is not correct. As pointed out by respondent in its petition for certiorari, the failure
of the CIDG operatives to confiscate articles and materials used in tampering with the Pryce marking and
logo did not negate the existence of probable cause. The confluence of these circumstances, namely: the
fact of possession and distribution of the gas cylinders and the claim by respondent that it did not
authorize petitioner to distribute the same was a sufficient indication that petitioner is probably guilty of
the illegal use of the gas cylinders punishable under Section 2 of R.A. No. 623, as amended. The Court of
Appeals, however, erred in ordering the return of the seized items to respondent. Section 4, Rule 126 of
the Revised Criminal Procedure expressly mandates the delivery of the seized items to the judge who
issued the search warrant to be kept in custodia legis in anticipation of the criminal proceedings against
petitioner. The seized items should remain in the custody of the trial court which issued the search
warrant pending the institution of criminal action against petitioner.

3. G.R. No. 199032 November 19, 2014

RETIRED SP04 BIENVENIDO LAUD, Petitioner,


vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

Facts:

On July 10, 2009, the Philippine National Police (PNP), through Police Senior Superintendent
Roberto B. Fajardo, applied with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch50 (Manila-RTC) for a
warrant to search three (3) caves located inside the Laud Compound in Purok 3, Barangay Ma-a, Davao
City, owned by the herein petitioner, where the alleged remains of the victims summarily executed by the
so-called "Davao Death Squad" may be found. It was a certain Ernesto Avasola (Avasola) who testified
that he personally witnessed the killing of six (6) persons in December 2005, and was, in fact, part of the
group that buried the victims.

Judge William Simon P. Peralta (Judge Peralta), acting as Vice Executive Judge of the Manila-RTC,
found probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant, and thus, issued Search Warrant No. 09-
144077 which was later enforced by the elements of the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group,
in coordination with the members of the Scene of the Crime Operatives on July 15, 2009.The search of the
Laud Compound caves yielded positive results for the presence of human remains. Laud filed a petition
questioning the validity of the issued search warrant.

Issue:

A. WON Manila-RTC had jurisdiction to issue the said warrant despite non-compliance with the
compelling reasons requirement under Section 2, Rule126 of the Rules of Court;
B. WON the requirements of probable cause were complied with for the judge to issue the said
warrant

Ruling:

A. The Court finds nothing defective in the preliminary issuance of Search Warrant No. 09 14407.
Section 2, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court which provides:

SEC. 2. Court where application for search warrant shall be filed. — An application for search warrant
shall be filed with the following:

a) Any court within whose territorial jurisdiction a crime was committed.

b) For compelling reasons stated in the application, any court within the judicial region where the
crime was committed if the place of the commission of the crime is known, or any court within
the judicial region where the warrant shall be enforced.

If the criminal action has already been filed, the application shall only be made in the court where
the criminal action is pending. However, Section 12, Chapter V of A.M. No. 03-8- 02-SC, the rule on
search warrant applications before the Manila and Quezon City RTCs for the mentioned special
criminal cases in the said provision, in this case heinous crime of murder, shall be an exception to
Section 2 of Rule 126 of the Rules of Court.

B. Section 4, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court states that a search warrant shall not be issued except
upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense:

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.
In this case, the existence of probable cause for the issuance of Search Warrant No. 09-14407 is
evident from the first-hand account of Avasola who, in his deposition, stated that he personally
witnessed the commission of the afore-stated crime and was, in fact, part of the group that buried the
victims.

Thus, the Court affirms the CA Ruling which upheld the validity of Search Warrant No. 09-14407.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.

4. ELENITA C. FAJARDO, Petitioner,

- versus -

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

G.R. No. 190889 January 10,2011

Facts:

On August 28, 2002, a search warrant was served in the house of petitioner Elenita Fajardo in Sampaguita
Road, Park Homes, Andagao, Kalibo, Aklan.

Fajardo and one Zaldy Valerio (Valerio) were charged with violation of P.D. No. 1866, as amended by
Republic Act No. 8294. During the search conducted by the Provincial Intelligence Special Operation
Group, two (2) receivers of caliber .45 pistol, Model No. M1911A1 US with SN 763025 and Model No.
M1911A1 US with defaced serial number, two (2) pieces short magazine of M16 Armalite rifle, thirty-five
(35) pieces live M16 ammunition 5.56 caliber and fourteen (14) pieces live caliber .45 ammunition were
confiscated and recovered in their possession, custody and control without authority of law, permit or
license.

The responding team saw Valerio holding two .45 caliber pistols. He fired shots at the policemen
before entering the house of petitioner. Valerio threw the receivers from the rooftop of the house.
Petition, meanwhile, was seen tucking a .45 caliber handgun between her waist and the waistband of her
shorts, after which, she entered the house and locked the main door. Petitioner disowned the confiscated
items. She refused to sign the inventory/receipt prepared by the raiding team, because the items
allegedly belonged to her brother, Benito Fajardo, a staff sergeant of the Philippine Army. Petitioner then
denied that she had a .45 caliber pistol tucked in her waistband when the raiding team arrived.

Issue:

WON the petitioner is liable under Sec. 1 of P.D. 1866 for illegal possession of a part of a firearm?

Ruling:

No. People vs De Garcia provides an instructive disquisition on how a person is held


liable for illegal possession of a firearm:

The rule is that ownership is not an essential element of illegal possession of firearms and
ammunition. What the law requires is merely possession which includes not only actual physical
possession but also constructive possession or the subjection of the thing to one's control and
management. This has to be so if the manifest intent of the law is to be effective. The same evils,
the same perils to public security, which the law penalizes exist whether the unlicensed holder of
a prohibited weapon be its owner or a borrower. To accomplish the object of this law the
proprietary concept of the possession can have no bearing whatsoever.

But is the mere fact of physical or constructive possession sufficient to convict a person
for unlawful possession of firearms or must there be an intent to possess to constitute a violation
of the law? This query assumes significance since the offense of illegal possession of firearms is
a malum prohibitum punished by a special law, in which case good faith and absence of criminal
intent are not valid defenses.

When the crime is punished by a special law, as a rule, intent to commit the crime is not
necessary. It is sufficient that the offender has the intent to perpetrate the act prohibited by the
special law. Intent to commit the crime and intent to perpetrate the act must be distinguished. A
person may not have consciously intended to commit a crime; but he did intend to commit an
act, and that act is, by the very nature of things, the crime itself. In the first (intent to commit the
crime), there must be criminal intent; in the second (intent to perpetrate the act) it is enough that
the prohibited act is done freely and consciously.

In the present case, a distinction should be made between criminal intent and intent to
possess. While mere possession, without criminal intent, is sufficient to convict a person for illegal
possession of a firearm, it must still be shown that there was animus possidendi or an intent to
possess on the part of the accused. Such intent to possess is, however, without regard to any
other criminal or felonious intent which the accused may have harbored in possessing the
firearm. Criminal intent here refers to the intention of the accused to commit an offense with the
use of an unlicensed firearm. This is not important in convicting a person under Presidential
Decree No. 1866. Hence, in order that one may be found guilty of a violation of the decree, it is
sufficient that the accused had no authority or license to possess a firearm, and that he intended
to possess the same, even if such possession was made in good faith and without criminal intent.

Concomitantly, a temporary, incidental, casual, or harmless possession or control of a


firearm cannot be considered a violation of a statute prohibiting the possession of this kind of
weapon, such as Presidential Decree No. 1866. Thus, although there is physical or constructive
possession, for as long as the animus possidendi is absent, there is no offense committed.

Certainly, illegal possession of firearms, or part of a firearm, is committed when the holder
thereof:

(1) possesses a firearm or a part thereof

(2) lacks the authority or license to possess the firearm.

We find that petitioner was neither in physical nor constructive possession of the subject
receivers.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the February 10, 2009 Decision of the Court of Appeals is
hereby REVERSED with respect to petitioner Elenita Fajardo y Castro, who is hereby ACQUITTED on the
ground that her guilt was not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

5. Kho vs. Makalintal


G.R. No. 94902-06. April 21, 1999

BENJAMIN V. KHO and ELIZABETH ALINDOGAN, petitioners, vs. HON. ROBERTO L. MAKALINTAL
and NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, respondents.

Facts:

Petition sought to restrain the respondent NBI from using the objects seized by virtue of such warrants in
any case or cases filed or to be filed against them and to return immediately the said items, including the
firearms, ammunition and explosives, radio communication equipment, handsets, transceivers, two units
of vehicles and motorcycle. Petitioners question the issuance of subject search warrants, theorizing upon
the absence of any probable cause therefor they content that the surveillance and investigation
conducted by NBI agents within the premises involved, prior to the application for the search warrants
under controversy, were not sufficient to vest in the applicant’s personal knowledge of facts and
circumstances showing of indicating the commission of a crime by them.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioners and contention of the absence of probable cause in the given situation is
tenable.

Held:

Petitioner’s contention is untenable. Records show that the NBI agents who conducted the surveillance
and investigation testified unequivocably that they saw guns being carried to and unloaded at the two
houses earched, and motor vehicles and spare parts were stored therein. In fact, applicant Max B. Salvador
declared that he personally attended the surveillance together with his witnesses, and the said witnesses
personally saw the weapons being unloaded from motor vehicles and carried to the premises referred to.
NBI Agent Ali Vargas testified that he actually saw the firearms being from a Toyota Lite Ace van and
brought to the aforementioned house in BF Homes, Paranaque because he was there inside the
compound posing as an applicant agent. It is therefore decisively clear that the application for the
questioned search warrants was based on the personal knowledge of the applicants and their witnesses.

In the case of Central Bank v. Morfe (20 SCRA 507), this Court ruled that the question of whether or not a
probable cause exists is one which must be determined in light of the conditions obtaining in given
situations. In Luna v. Plaza (26 SCRA 310), it held that the existence of a probable cause depends to a
large extent upon the finding or opinion of the judge who conducted the required examination of the
applicants and the witnesses.

After a careful study, the Court discerns no basis for disturbing the findings and conclusions arrived at by
the respondent Judge after examining the applicants and witnesses. Respondent judge had the singular
opportunity to assess their testimonies and to find out their personal knowledge of facts and
circumstances enough to create a probable cause. The Judge was the one who personally examined the
applicants and witnesses and who asked searching questions vis-a-vis the applications for search
warrants. He was thus able to observe and determine whether subject applicants and their witnesses gave
accurate accounts of the surveillance and investigation they conducted at the premises to be searched. In
the absence of any showing that respondent judge was recreant of his duties in connection with the
personal examination he so conducted on the affiants before him, there is no basis for doubting the
reliability and correctness of his findings and impressions.

6. People vs. Tan

GR No. 191069, Nov 15, 2010

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SULPICIO SONNY BOY TAN Y PHUA

Facts:

SPO2 Geronimo, SPO1 Quilala, PO3 Avendano, and PO1 Cruz of the Makati City Philippine
National Police (PNP) conducted a manhunt operation against a suspect in a robbery case involving
Korean nationals along P. Burgos, Barangay Poblacion, Makati City. While on board their civilian vehicle,
they chanced upon a male individual selling certain items to two foreigners. They heard him say, Hey Joe,
want to buy Valium 10, Cialis, Viagra, Curious, they inquired and the male individual told them that he
was selling Viagra and Cialis, while, at the same time, showing them the contents of his bag which yielded
120 tablets of Valium.

The male individual, who later turned out to be Sonny Boy, was immediately searched and placed
under arrest, after which they informed him of the nature of his apprehension and of his constitutional
rights. Sonny Boy was then brought to the office of the Station Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task
Force (SAID-SOTF), where the items recovered from him were marked and inventoried by PO1 Cruz. The
items were turned over to the duty investigator.

In contrast, Sonny Boy interposed the defense of denial. He maintained that he was merely
watching cars as a parking boy along P. Burgos when two men suddenly held and invited him for
questioning. They asked him if he knew any drug pushers and, if he did, to identify them. When he was
unable to do so, they charged him for violation of Sec. 11, Art. II of RA 9165, which is the subject of the
instant case.

Issue:

Whether or not the court a quo gravely erred in not finding the accused-appellant's warrantless search
and arrest as illegal.
Held:

Warrantless Search and Arrest Were Legal and Valid

Further, accused-appellant challenges the legality of his warrantless search and arrest for the first time in
his appeal. He argues that such was illegal, since none of the instances wherein a search and seizure may
be done validly without a warrant was present.

Such argument is untenable.

First of all, accused-appellant never raised this issue before his arraignment. He never questioned the
legality of his arrest until his appeal. On this alone, the contention must fail. It has been ruled time and
again that an accused is estopped from assailing any irregularity with regard to his arrest if he fails to
raise this issue or to move for the quashal of the information against him on this ground before his
arraignment. Any objection involving the procedure by which the court acquired jurisdiction over the
person of the accused must be made before he enters his plea; otherwise, the objection is deemed
waived.

In the instant case, accused-appellant even requested a reinvestigation during his initial arraignment, and,
as a result, his arraignment was postponed. He could have questioned the validity of his warrantless arrest
at this time but he did not. His arraignment was then rescheduled where he entered a plea of not guilty
and participated in the trial. Thus, he is deemed to have waived any question as to any defect in his arrest
and is likewise deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court.

What is more, Sec. 5, Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure clearly provides for the instances when
a person may be arrested without a warrant, to wit:

Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. - A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant,
arrest a person:

(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 just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and

(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place
where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped
while being transferred from one confinement to another. (Emphasis supplied.)

Undoubtedly, the case at bar falls under Sec. 5(a) of Rule 113, that is, when the person to be arrested is
actually committing an offense, the peace officer may arrest him even without a warrant. However, a
warrantless arrest must still be preceded by the existence of probable cause. Probable cause is defined as
"a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to induce
a cautious man to believe that the person accused is guilty of the offense charged." [36]
In People v. Mariacos, the Court further expounded on the definition of probable cause:

It refers to the existence of such facts and circumstances that can lead a reasonably discreet and prudent
man to believe that an offense has been committed, and that the items, articles or objects sought in
connection with said offense or subject to seizure and destruction by law are in the place to be searched.

The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when, in the absence of actual belief of the arresting officers, the
suspicion that the person to be arrested is probably guilty of committing the offense is based on actual
facts, i.e., supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause of
guilt of the person to be arrested. A reasonable suspicion therefore must be founded on probable cause,
coupled with good faith on the part of the peace officers making the arrest.

Here, the arresting officers had sufficient probable cause to make the arrest in view of the fact that they
themselves heard accused-appellant say, "Hey Joe, want to buy Valium 10, Cialis, Viagra?" which, in turn,
prompted them to ask accused-appellant what he was selling. When accused-appellant showed them the
items, they identified 120 tablets of Valium 10, a regulated drug. The police officers then became
obligated to arrest accused-appellant, as he was actually committing a crime in their presence--
possession of a dangerous drug, a violation of Sec. 11, Art. II of RA 9165. Therefore, it is without question
that the warrantless search and arrest of accused-appellant are legal and valid.

All things considered, this Court sees no compelling reason to disturb the findings of the trial court. The
prosecution succeeded in establishing, with moral certainty, all the elements of the crime of illegal
possession of dangerous drugs: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to
be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and
consciously possessed the said drug.

7. Villamor vs. People G.R. No. 200396

MARTIN VILLAMOR y TAYSON, and VICTOR BONAOBRA y GIANAN, Petitioners


vs
PEOPLE OF THE PIDLIPPINES, Respondents

FACTS:

The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against
unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose. A mere tip from an unnamed informant
does not vest police officers with the authority to barge into private homes without first securing a valid warrant of
arrest or search warrant. While there are instances where arrests and searches may be made without a warrant, the
Court finds that the constitutionally-protected right against unreasonable searches and seizures was violated in the
case at bar.

Villamor was charged with violation of Section 3(c) of RA 9287 for collecting and soliciting bets for an illegal numbers
game locally known as "lotteng' and possessing a list of various numbers, a calculator, a cellphone, and cash. Another
Information5 was filed in the same court charging Bonaobra with violation of the same law. In the Amended
Information, the phrase "acting as a collector" was included to charge Villamor as a collector in an illegal numbers
game. On the other hand, Bonaobra was charged as a manager or operator in the Amended InfoRmation. When
separately arraigned, Villamor, on October 4, 2005 and Bonaobra, on November 29, 2005, both pleaded not guilty to
the respective charges filed against them.

On October 25, 2006, the RTC of Virac, Catanduanes, Branch 43 rendered its Judgment finding petitioners guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of committing illegal numbers game locally known as ''lotteng," a variant of the game Last
Two, respectively as a collector or agent under Section 3(c), and as a coordinator, controller, or supervisor under
Section 3(d), of RA 9287. The RTC further held that Villamor's participation in the illegal numbers game was that of a
collector since he brought bet money to Bonaobra while the latter was that of a coordinator, controller, or supervisor
after it was shown that he received the money from Villamor.

On June 13, 2011, the CA affirmed the RTC's Decision. The CA brushed aside Bonaobra's argument that his right to
due process was violated when he was convicted of a crime different from that with which he was charged. The CA
held that the classification of a maintainer, manager, or operator includes a coordinator, controller, or supervisor. The
CA ratiocinated that to hold a maintainer guilty of the lesser offense of acting as a coordinator will not be violative of
his right to be informed of the nature and cause of his accusation since the graver offense of acting as a maintainer
necessarily includes being a coordinator.
With respect to Villamor, the CA gave more weight and credence to the testimonies of the arresting officer who were
presumed to have acted regularly in the performance of their official functions. The CA held that Villamor' s denials
cannot prevail over the positive assertions of the police officers who caught him in the act of revising and counting
bets.

ISSUE:

Whether the petitioners' conviction for violation of RA 9287 as collector or agent under Section 3(c) for Villamor, and
as coordinator, controller, or supervisor m1der Section 3(d) for Bonaobra, should be upheld.

RULING:

The Court finds that the right of the petitioners against unreasonable searches and seizures was violated by the
arresting officers when they barged into Bonaobra's compound without a valid warrant of arrest or a search warrant.
While there are exceptions to the rule requiring a warrant for a valid search and seizure, none applies in the case at
bar. Consequently, the evidence obtained by the police officers is inadmissible against the petitioners, the same
having been obtained in violation of the said right.

Section 2, Article Ill of the 1987 Constitution requires a judicial warrant based on the existence of probable cause
before a search and an arrest may be effected by law enforcement agents. Without the said warrant, a search or
seizure becomes unreasonable within the context of the Constitution and any evidence obtained on the occasion of
such unreasonable search and seizure shall be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding. "Evidence
obtained and confiscated on the occasion of such an unreasonable search and seizure is tainted and should be
excluded for being the proverbial fruit of the poisonous tree."

In this case, the apprehending officers claim that petitioners were caught in flagrante delicto, or caught in the act of
committing an offense. PD Peñaflor and his team of police officers claim that petitioners were committing the offense
of illegal numbers game when they were arrested without a warrant.

In warrantless arrests made pursuant to Section 5(a), Rule 113, two elements must concur, namely "(a) 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 (b) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer."

The Court finds that there was no valid warrantless arrest on petitioners. It was not properly established that
petitioners had just committed, or were actually committing, or attempting to commit a crime and that said act or
acts were done in the presence of the arresting officers. The warrantless arrest conducted by PD Peñaflor and his
team was unlawful as the same does not satisfy the requirements of an in flagrante delicto arrest. Consequently, the
search and seizure of the effects found inside the house of Bonaobra are likewise illegal since there could be no valid
search incident to an illegal warrantless arrest.

The prosecution failed to clearly establish the acts that constitute the offense of illegal gambling as a collector or an
agent under Section 3(c), and as a coordinator, controller, or supervisor under Section 3(d), of RA 9287. Under the
said law, a collector or agent is "any person who collects, solicits or produces bets in behalf of his/her principal for
any illegal numbers game who is usually in possession of gambling paraphernalia." On the other hand, a coordinator,
controller, or supervisor is defined as, ''any person who exercises control and supervision over the collector or agent.
The evidence purportedly seized from the Bonaobra compound is inadmissible in evidence since it was obtained in
violation of Section 3(2), Article III of the 1987 Constitution. Since the alleged illegal gambling paraphernalia is the
very corpus delicti of the crime charged, the Court acquits petitioners.

8. People vs Mariacos

G.R. No. 188611

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee,


vs
BELEN MARIACOS,
Appellant

FACTS:

Accused-appellant Belen Mariacos was charged in an Information, dated November 7, 2005 of violating Section 5,
Article II of Republic Act [No.] 9165, allegedly committed that on or about the 27 th day of October, 2005, in the
Municipality of San Gabriel, Province of La Union, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously transport, deliver 7,030.3, (sic) grams of
dried marijuana fruiting tops without the necessary permit or authority from the proper government agency or office.

On October 27, 2005, in Barangay Balbalayang, PO2 Pallayoc met with a secret agent of the Barangay Intelligence
Network who informed him that a baggage of marijuana had been loaded on a passenger jeepney that was about to
leave for the poblacion. The agent mentioned three (3) bags and one (1) blue plastic bag. Further, the agent
described a backpack bag with an O.K. marking. PO2 Pallayoc then boarded the said jeepney and positioned himself
on top thereof. While the vehicle was in motion, he found the black backpack with an O.K. marking and peeked inside
its contents. PO2 Pallayoc found bricks of marijuana wrapped in newspapers. He then asked the other passengers on
top of the jeepney about the owner of the bag, but no one knew.

When the jeepney reached the poblacion, PO2 Pallayoc alighted together with the other passengers. Unfortunately,
he did not notice who took the black backpack from atop the jeepney. He only realized a few moments later that the
said bag and three (3) other bags, including a blue plastic bag, were already being carried away by two (2) women. He
caught up with the women and introduced himself as a policeman. He told them that they were under arrest, but one
of the women got away.

At the police station, the investigators contacted the Mayor of San Gabriel to witness the opening of the bags. When
the Mayor arrived about fifteen (15) minutes later, the bags were opened and three (3) bricks of marijuana wrapped in
newspaper, two (2) round bundles of marijuana, and two (2) bricks of marijuana fruiting tops, all wrapped in a
newspaper, were recovered. The Court finds the accused Belen Mariacos GUILTY as charged and sentences here to
suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and to pay a fine of P500,000.00.
She argued that the trial court erred in considering the evidence of the prosecution despite its inadmissibility. She
claimed that her right against an unreasonable search was flagrantly violated by Police Officer (PO)2 Pallayoc when
the latter searched the bag, assuming it was hers, without a search warrant and with no permission from her. She
averred that PO2 Pallayocs purpose for apprehending her was to verify if the bag she was carrying was the same one
he had illegally searched earlier. Moreover, appellant contended that there was no probable cause for her arrest.

ISSUE:

Whether or not there was probable cause to warrant the warrantless arrest.

RULING:

The People, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), argued that the warrantless arrest of appellant and the
warrantless seizure of marijuana were valid and legal, justified as a search of a moving vehicle. It averred that PO2
Pallayoc had reasonable ground to believe that appellant had committed the crime of delivering dangerous drugs
based on reliable information from their agent, which was confirmed when he peeked into the bags and smelled the
distinctive odor of marijuana.
On January 19, 2009, the CA dismissed appellants appeal and affirmed the RTC decision in toto. It held that the
prosecution had successfully proven that appellant carried away from the jeepney a number of bags which, when
inspected by the police, contained dangerous drugs. The CA ruled that appellant was caught in flagrante delicto of
carrying and conveying the bag that contained the illegal drugs, and thus held that appellants warrantless arrest was
valid.

The search of a moving vehicle is one of the doctrinally accepted exceptions to the Constitutional mandate that no
search or seizure shall be made except by virtue of a warrant issued by a judge after personally determining the
existence of probable cause. It is readily apparent that the search in this case is valid. The vehicle that carried the
contraband or prohibited drugs was about to leave. PO2 Pallayoc had to make a quick decision and act fast. It would
be unreasonable to require him to procure a warrant before conducting the search under the circumstances. Time
was of the essence in this case. The searching officer had no time to obtain a warrant. Indeed, he only had enough
time to board the vehicle before the same left for its destination.

When an accused is charged with illegal possession or transportation of prohibited drugs, the ownership thereof is
immaterial. Consequently, proof of ownership of the confiscated marijuana is not necessary. Appellants alleged lack of
knowledge does not constitute a valid defense. Lack of criminal intent and good faith are not exempting
circumstances where the crime charged is malum prohibitum, as in this case. Mere possession and/or delivery of a
prohibited drug, without legal authority, is punishable under the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The actions of the police officers, in relation to the procedural rules on the chain of custody, enjoyed the presumption
of regularity in the performance of official functions. Courts accord credence and full faith to the testimonies of police
authorities, as they are presumed to be performing their duties regularly, absent any convincing proof to the contrary.

The prosecution successfully established appellants guilt. Thus, her conviction must be affirmed

9. Terry vs. Ohio, 392 US 1

U.S. Supreme Court

Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968)

Terry v. Ohio

No. 67

Argued December 12, 1967

Decided June 10, 1968

392 U.S. 1

FACTS

Cleveland, Ohio detective McFadden was on a downtown beat that he had been patrolling for many years
when he observed two strangers (Terry and another man, Chilton) at a street corner. He saw them
proceed alternately back and forth along an identical route, pausing to stare in the same store window,
which they did for a total of about 24 times. Each completion of the route was followed by a conference
between the two on a corner, at one of which they were joined by a third man (Katz) who thereafter left
swiftly.

Suspecting the two men of ‘casing a job, a stick-up’, the officer followed them and saw them rejoin the
third man a couple of blocks away in front of a store. The officer approached the three, identified himself
as a policeman, and asked their names. The men mumbled something, whereupon McFadden spun Terry
around, patted down his outside clothing, and felt in his overcoat pocket – but was unable to remove – a
pistol. He removed Terry’s overcoat, took out a revolver, and ordered the three to face the wall with their
hands raised. He patted down the outer clothing of Chilton and Katz and seized a revolver from Chilton’s
outside overcoat pocket. He did not put his hands under the outer garments of Katz (since he discovered
nothing in his pat-down which might have been a weapon), or under Terry’s or Chilton’s outer garments
until he felt the guns.

Terry and Chilton were charged with carrying concealed weapons. The defense moved to suppress the
weapons, which was denied by the trial court. Terry eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court to
question the admissibility of the gun and his resulting conviction.

Issue:

Whether a search for weapons without probable cause for arrest is an unreasonable search under the
Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution (“Constitution”)?

Ruling:

First, in assessing the reasonableness of stop-and-frisk as a valid form of warrantless search, the U.S.
Supreme Court held:

The crux of this case, however, is not the propriety of Officer McFadden’s taking steps to investigate
[Terry’s] suspicious behavior, but rather, whether there was justification for McFadden’s invasion of Terry's
personal security by searching him for weapons in the course of that investigation. We are now concerned
with more than the governmental interest in investigating crime; in addition, there is the more immediate
interest of the police officer in taking steps to assure himself that the person with whom he is dealing is
not armed with a weapon that could unexpectedly and fatally be used against him. Certainly it would be
unreasonable to require that police officers take unnecessary risks in the performance of their duties.
We cannot blind ourselves to the need for law enforcement officers to protect themselves and other
prospective victims of violence in situations where they may lack probable cause for an arrest.When an
officer is justified in believing that the individual whose suspicious behavior he is investigating at close
range is armed and presently dangerous to the officer or to others, it would appear to be clearly
unreasonable to deny the officer the power to take necessary measures to determine whether the person
is in fact carrying a weapon and to neutralize the threat of physical harm.

A search for weapons in the absence of probable cause to arrest, however, must, like any other search, be
strictly circumscribed by the exigencies which justify its initiation. Thus it must be limited to that which is
necessary for the discovery of weapons which might be used to harm the officer or others nearby, and
may realistically be characterized as something less than a full search, even though it remains a serious
intrusion.

Next, on the distinction between protective search for weapons under stop-and-frisk on one hand, and
arrest (and the search incidental thereof) on the other hand, it was declared:

An arrest is a wholly different kind of intrusion upon individual freedom from a limited search for
weapons, and the interests each is designed to serve are likewise quite different. An arrest is the initial
stage of a criminal prosecution. It is intended to vindicate society's interest in having its laws obeyed, and
it is inevitably accompanied by future interference with the individual’s freedom of movement, whether or
not trial or conviction ultimately follows. The protective search for weapons, on the other hand,
constitutes a brief, though far from inconsiderable, intrusion upon the sanctity of the person. It does not
follow that because an officer may lawfully arrest a person only when he is apprised of facts sufficient to
warrant a belief that the person has committed or is committing a crime, the officer is equally unjustified,
absent that kind of evidence, in making any intrusions short of an arrest. Moreover, a perfectly reasonable
apprehension of danger may arise long before the officer is possessed of adequate information to justify
taking a person into custody for the purpose of prosecuting him for a crime. Petitioner’s reliance on cases
which have worked out standards of reasonableness with regard to seizures constituting arrests and
searches incident thereto is thus misplaced. It assumes that the interests sought to be vindicated and the
invasions of personal security may be equated in the two cases, and thereby ignores a vital aspect of the
analysis of the reasonableness of particular types of conduct under the [right against unreasonable search
and seizure].

Our evaluation of the proper balance that has to be struck in this type of case leads us to conclude
that there must be a narrowly drawn authority to permit a reasonable search for weapons for the
protection of the police officer, where he has reason to believe that he is dealing with an armed and
dangerous individual, regardless of whether he has probable cause to arrest the individual for a crime.
The officer need not be absolutely certain that the individual is armed; the issue is whether a reasonably
prudent man in the circumstances would be warranted in the belief that his safety or that of others was in
danger.

The protective search for weapons under stop-and-frisk, unlike a search without a warrant incident to a
lawful arrest, is not justified by any need to prevent the disappearance or destruction of evidence of
crime. The sole justification of the search in the present situation is the protection of the police officer
and others nearby, and it must therefore be confined in scope to an intrusion reasonably designed to
discover guns, knives, clubs, or other hidden instruments for the assault of the police officer.

Revolver seized from Terry admissible in evidence


The U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the revolver seized from Terry was properly admitted in evidence
against him, thus:

“At the time he seized [Terry] and searched him for weapons, Officer McFadden had reasonable grounds
to believe that petitioner was armed and dangerous, and it was necessary for the protection of himself
and others to take swift measures to discover the true facts and neutralize the threat of harm if it
materialized. The policeman carefully restricted his search to what was appropriate to the discovery of the
particular items which he sought. Each case of this sort will, of course, have to be decided on its own
facts. We merely hold today that where a police officer observes unusual conduct which leads him
reasonably to conclude in light of his experience that criminal activity may be afoot and that the persons
with whom he is dealing may be armed and presently dangerous, where in the course of investigating this
behavior he identifies himself as a policeman and makes reasonable inquiries, and where nothing in the
initial stages of the encounter serves to dispel his reasonable fear for his own or others’ safety, he is
entitled for the protection of himself and others in the area to conduct a carefully limited search of the
outer clothing of such persons in an attempt to discover weapons which might be used to assault him .
Such a search is a reasonable search under the [contest of the constitutional right against unreasonable
search and seizure], and any weapons seized may properly be introduced in evidence against the person
from whom they were taken.”

10.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. No. 175783

Plaintiff-Appellee,

Present:

YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.,

Chairperson,

- versus - AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,

CHICO-NAZARIO, and

NACHURA, and

REYES, JJ.

BERNARDO TUAZON Y NICOLAS,

Accused-Appellant. Promulgated:

September 3, 2007
Facts:

The Information filed against appellant alleged:

The undersigned State Prosecutor accuses BERNARDO TUAZON y NICOLAS of the crime of Violation of
Section 16, Article III, R.A. 6425, as amended, committed as follows:

That, on or about the 7th day of March, 1999, in the City of Antipolo, Philippines and within the jurisdiction
of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, not being lawfully authorized to possess any
regulated drug, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have in his possession, custody
and control seven (7) heat-sealed transparent plastic bags each containing 97.92 grams, 95.46 grams,
40.47 grams, 5.36 grams, 5.41 grams, 2.95 grams and 3.17 grams for a total weight of 250.74 grams of
white crystalline substance, which after the corresponding laboratory examination conducted gave
positive result to the test for methylamphetamine hydrochloride also known as shabu a regulated drug, in
violation of the above-cited law.Upon arraignment, appellant, duly assisted by counsel de oficio, pleaded
not guilty.

The prosecutions version of the case relied heavily on the testimony of PO3 Glenon Bueno (PO3 Bueno)
who testified that in the morning of 7 March 1999, the Antipolo City Police Station received through
telephone, a confidential information that a Gemini car bearing plate number PFC 411 would deliver an
unspecified amount of shabu in Marville Subdivision, Antipolo City. Acting on said tip, Antipolo City Chief
of Police Major Rene Quintana dispatched a team of policemen to the area to conduct a
surveillance.When the team arrived in Marville Subdivision, they saw the said Gemini car and immediately
flagged it down. The driver of the car pulled to a stop and opened a window of said vehicle giving the
policemen the opportunity to identify themselves as members of the Antipolo City Police Station. It was
then that PO1 Manuel Padlan (PO1 Padlan) saw a gun tucked on appellants waist. PO1 Padlan inquired
about the gun and appellant allegedly replied it did not belong to him nor could he produce any
pertinent document relating to said firearm. This prompted PO3 Bueno to order appellant to get down
from the car. As soon as appellant stepped down from the vehicle, PO3 Bueno saw five plastic sachets on
the drivers seat, the contents of which appellant allegedly admitted to be shabu. Appellant was thereafter
immediately brought to the police station. In the Joint Affidavit executed by PO3 Bueno and PO1 Padlan,
it was stated that when they frisked appellant, they discovered 2 big plastic bag (sic) and 5 medium size
plastic (sic) and a 9 mm. pistol marked Parabellum bearing serial number C-9890 with one loaded
magazine with eleven ammunition. The trial court found the evidence presented by the prosecution
sufficient to support a guilty verdict and imposed upon appellant the penalty of reclusion perpetua and
to pay a fine of P500,000.00.

On 17 September 2003, the Court resolved to accept the appeal interposed by appellant, the records of
the case having been forwarded to this Court by the RTC, Antipolo City, Branch 71. Its also required the
parties to file their respective briefs. In addition to the required brief, appellant filed a supplementary
pleading in which he questioned the validity of his arrest and the admissibility of the evidence presented
against him. He contends that at the time of his warrantless arrest, he was merely driving within Marville
Subdivision. He had not committed, was not committing, and was not about to commit any crime which
could have justified his apprehension. He goes on to argue that even if he had waived the issue regarding
the validity of his arrest by his failure to raise the matter before entering his plea, such waiver did not
affect the unlawfulness of the search and seizure conducted by the police. Appellant claims that as the
confidential informant had been cooperating with the police for three weeks prior to his arrest, the
authorities were already informed of his identity and his alleged illegal activities. They should have
conducted a prior surveillance and then sought a search warrant from the court. Absent said warrant,
the shabu seized from him should be excluded from evidence. The Court of Appeals affirmed the findings
and conclusion of the court a quo.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court gravely erred in convicting the accused-appellant for violation of section
16, article III, Republic Act 6425, as amended.

Ruling:

In insisting that the trial court should not have given credence to the testimony of PO3 Bueno, appellant
is basically making an issue about witnesss credibility. In this regard, we reiterate the rule that appellate
courts will generally not disturb factual findings of the trial court since the latter has the unique
opportunity to weigh conflicting testimonies, having heard the witnesses themselves and observed their
deportment and manner of testifying.

No less than our Constitution recognizes the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,
papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. This right is encapsulated in Article III,
Section 2 of the Constitution which states:

SEC. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against
unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no
search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause 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 persons or things to be seized.
Complementing this provision is the so-called exclusionary rule embodied in Section 3(2) of the same
article

(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any
purpose in any proceeding.

It is recognized, however, that these constitutional provisions against warrantless searches and seizures
admit of certain exceptions, as follows: (1) warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest recognized
under Section 12, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court and by prevailing jurisprudence; (2) seizure of evidence
in plain view; (3) search of a moving vehicle; (4) consented warrantless search; (5) customs search; (6) stop
and frisk; and (7) exigent and emergency circumstances.

The rules governing search and seizure have over the years been steadily liberalized whenever a moving
vehicle is the object of the search on the basis of practicality. This is so considering that before a warrant
could be obtained, the place, things and persons to be searched must be described to the satisfaction of
the issuing judge a requirement which borders on the impossible in the case of smuggling effected by the
use of a moving vehicle that can transport contraband from one place to another with impunity. We
might add that a warrantless search of a moving vehicle is justified on the ground that it is not practicable
to secure a warrant because the vehicle can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which
the warrant must be sought.
Nevertheless, the exception from securing a search warrant when it comes to moving vehicles does not
give the police authorities unbridled discretion to conduct a warrantless search of an automobile. To do
so would render the aforementioned constitutional stipulations inutile and expose the citizenry to
indiscriminate police distrust which could amount to outright harassment. Surely, the policy consideration
behind the exemption of search of moving vehicles does not encompass such arbitrariness on the part of
the police authorities. In recognition of the possible abuse, jurisprudence dictates that at all times, it is
required that probable cause exist in order to justify the warrantless search of a vehicle.

When a vehicle is flagged down and subjected to an extensive search, such a warrantless search has been
held to be valid as long as the officers conducting the search have reasonable or probable cause to
believe prior to the search that they would find the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to a crime, in
the vehicle to be searched.

In this case, we hold that the police had probable cause to effect the warrantless search of the Gemini car
driven by appellant. A confidential informer tipped them off that said car was going to deliver shabu at
Marville Subdivision. Pursuing said lead, the Antipolo City police sent a team to Marville Subdivision to
monitor said vehicle. The information provided by the informer turned out to be correct as, indeed, the
Gemini car was spotted in the place where it was said to be bringing shabu. When they stopped the car,
they saw a gun tucked in appellants waist. Appellant did not have any document to support his
possession of said firearm which all the more strengthened the polices suspicion. After he was told to
step out of the car, they found on the drivers seat plastic sachets containing white powdery
substance. These circumstances, taken together, are sufficient to establish probable cause for the
warrantless search of the Gemini car and the eventual admission into evidence of the plastic packets
against appellant.

In any case, appellant failed to timely object to the admissibility of the evidence against him on the
ground that the same was obtained through a warrantless search. His failure amounts to a waiver of the
objection on the legality of the search and the admissibility of the evidence obtained by the police. It was
only proper for the trial court to admit said evidence.

Faithful adherence to the aforementioned constitutional provision is a vital component of due process
and fair play. The rule takes an even more important significance for the losing party who is entitled to
know why he lost so that he may appeal to a higher court, if permitted, should he believe that the
decision needs to be reversed. A decision that does not clearly and distinctly state the facts and the law
on which it is based leaves the parties in the dark as to how it was reached and is especially prejudicial to
the losing party, who is unable to pinpoint the possible errors of the court for review by a higher tribunal.
In this case, we find that the assailed decision of the trial court substantially complied with the
requirements of the Constitution. The decision contained a summary of the facts of the case as presented
by the prosecution and by the defense. It likewise contained an explanation as to why it found appellant
guilty as charged. Admittedly, the decision is brief but to our mind, it sufficiently informed appellant as
regards the bases for his conviction. It readily informs appellant that the trial court disregarded his
defense of bare denial in favor of the presumption of regularity in the performance of duties enjoyed by
police officers.

11. G.R. No. 83988 September 29, 1989

RICARDO C. VALMONTE AND UNION OF LAWYERS AND ADVOCATES FOR PEOPLE'S RIGHTS
(ULAP), petitioners,
vs.
GEN. RENATO DE VILLA AND NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION DISTRICT COMMAND, respondents.

Ricardo C. Valmonte for himself and his co-petitioners

FACTS:

On 20 January 1987, the National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC) was activated
pursuant to Letter of Instruction 02/87 of the Philippine General Headquarters, AFP, with the mission of
conducting security operations within its area of responsibility and peripheral areas, for the purpose of
establishing an effective territorial defense, maintaining peace and order, and providing an atmosphere
conducive to the social, economic and political development of the National Capital Region. As part of its
duty to maintain peace and order, the NCRDC installed checkpoints in various parts of Valenzuela, Metro
Manila.

Petitioners aver that, because of the said checkpoints, the residents of Valenzuela are worried of
being harassed and of their safety being placed at the arbitrary, capricious and whimsical disposition of
the military manning the checkpoints, considering that their cars and vehicles are being subjected to
regular searches and check-ups, especially at night or at dawn, without the benefit of a search warrant
and/or court order. Their alleged fear for their safety increased when, at dawn of July 9, 1988, Benjamin
Parpon, a supply officer of the Municipality of Valenzuela, Bulacan, was gunned down allegedly in cold
blood by the members of the NCRDC manning the checkpoint along McArthur Highway at Malinta,
Valenzuela, for ignoring and/or refusing to submit himself to the checkpoint and for continuing to speed
off inspire of warning shots fired in the air. Petitioner Valmonte also claims that, on several occasions, he
had gone thru these checkpoints where he was stopped and his car subjected to search/check-up without
a court order or search warrant. Petitioners further contend that the said checkpoints give the
respondents a blanket authority to make searches and/or seizures without search warrant or court order
in violation of the Constitution; and, instances have occurred where a citizen, while not killed, had been
harassed.

ISSUE:

Do checkpoints violate the right of the people against unreasonable search and seizures?

RULING:

NO, military and police checkpoints DO NOT violate the right of the people against unreasonable
search and seizures.

Petitioners' concern for their safety and apprehension at being harassed by the military manning the
checkpoints are not sufficient grounds to declare the checkpoints as per se illegal. No proof has been
presented before the Court to show that, in the course of their routine checks, the military indeed
committed specific violations of petitioners' right against unlawful search and seizure or other rights.

Not all searches and seizures are prohibited. Those which are reasonable are not forbidden. A reasonable
search is not to be determined by any fixed formula but is to be resolved according to the facts of each
case. Where, for example, the officer merely draws aside the curtain of a vacant vehicle which is parked on
the public fair grounds, or simply looks into a vehicle, or flashes a light therein, these do not constitute
unreasonable search.
The setting up of the questioned checkpoints in Valenzuela (and probably in other areas) may be
considered as a security measure to enable the NCRDC to pursue its mission of establishing effective
territorial defense and maintaining peace and order for the benefit of the public. Checkpoints may also be
regarded as measures to thwart plots to destabilize the government, in the interest of public security.

JANUARY 25, 2016


G.R. NO. 205472
AMADO I. SARAUM, PETITIONER,
VS.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

FACTS
A telephone call was received by PO3 Larrobis regarding the illegal drug activities in Sitio Camansi,
Barangay Lorega, Cebu City. A buy-bust team was then formed composed of PO3 Larrobis, PO1 Jumalon,
PO2 Nathaniel Sta. Ana, PO1 Roy Cabahug, and PO1 Julius Aniñon against a certain "Pata."
During the operation, "Pata" eluded arrest as he tried to run towards his shanty. Inside the house, which
was divided with a curtain as partition, the buy-bust team also saw Saraum and Peter Espcranza, who
were holding drug paraphernalia apparently in preparation to have a "shabu" pot session. They recovered
from Saraum's possession a lighter, rolled tissue paper, and aluminum tin foil (tooter).
By way of defense, Saraum denied the commission of the alleged offense. He testified that on the date
and time in question, he was passing by Lorega Cemetery on his way to the house of his parents-in-law
when he was held by men with firearms. They were already with "Antik" and "Pata," both of whom were
his neighbors. Believing that he had not committed anything illegal, he resisted the arrest. He learned of
the criminal charge only when he was brought to the court.
ISSUE
Whether or not the officers are justified in seizing the objects.
HELD: YES
Here, the Court is unconvinced with Saraum's statement that he was not committing a crime at the time
of his arrest. PO3 Larrobis described in detail how they were able to apprehend him, who was then
holding a disposable lighter in his right hand and a tin foil and a rolled tissue paper in his left hand, while
they were in the course of arresting somebody. The case is clearly one of hot pursuit of "Pate," who, in
eluding arrest, entered the shanty where Saraum and Esperanza were incidentally caught in possession of
the illegal items. Saraum did not proffer any satisfactory explanation with regard to his presence at the
vicinity of the buy-bust operation and his possession of the seized items that he claims to have
"countless, lawful uses." On the contrary, the prosecution witnesses have adequately explained the
respective uses of the items to prove that they were indeed drug paraphernalia. There is, thus, no
necessity to make a laboratory examination and finding as to the presence or absence of
methamphetamine hydrochloride or any illegal substances on said items since possession itself is the
punishable act.

The valid warrantless arrest gave the officers the right to search the shanty for objects relating to
the crime and seize the drug paraphernalia they found. In the course of their lawful intrusion, they
inadvertently saw the various drug paraphernalia. As these items were plainly visible, the police
officers were justified in seizing them. Considering that Saraum's arrest was legal, the search and
seizure that resulted from it were likewise lawful. The various drug paraphernalia that the police
officers found and seized in the shanty are, therefore, admissible in evidence for having
proceeded from a valid search and seizure. Since the confiscated drug paraphernalia are the
very corpus delicti of the crime charged, the Court has no choice but to sustain the judgment of
conviction.

Even if we consider the arrest as invalid, Saraum is deemed to have waived any objection thereto when he
did not raise the issue before entering his plea. "The established rule is that an accused may be estopped
from assailing the legality of his arrest if he failed to move for the quashing of the Information against
him before his arraignment. Any objection involving the arrest or the procedure in the court's acquisition
of jurisdiction over the person of an accused must be made before he enters his plea; otherwise the
objection is deemed waived. In this case, counsel for Saraum manifested its objection to the admission of
the seized drug paraphernalia, invoking illegal arrest and search, only during the formal offer of evidence
by the prosecution.

G.R. NO. 170672


JUDGE FELIMON ABELITA III,
PETITIONER,
- VERSUS –
P/SUPT. GERMAN B. DORIA
AND SPO3 CESAR RAMIREZ,
RESPONDENTS. AUGUST 14, 2009

FACTS
Judge Felimon Abelita III (petitioner) filed a complaint for Damages under Articles 32(4) and (9) of the
Civil Code against P/Supt. German B. Doria (P/Supt. Doria) and SPO3 Cesar Ramirez (SPO3
Ramirez). Petitioner alleged in his complaint that on 24 March 1996, at around 12 noon, he and his wife
were on their way to their house in Bagumbayan, Masbate, Masbate when P/Supt. Doria and SPO3
Ramirez (respondents), accompanied by 10 unidentified police officers, requested them to proceed to the
Provincial PNP Headquarters at Camp Boni Serrano, Masbate, Masbate. Petitioner was suspicious of the
request and told respondents that he would proceed to the PNP Headquarters after he had brought his
wife home. Petitioner alleged that when he parked his car in front of their house, SPO3 Ramirez grabbed
him, forcibly took the key to his Totoya Lite Ace van, barged into the vehicle, and conducted a search
without a warrant. The search resulted to the seizure of a licensed shotgun. Petitioner presented the
shotguns license to respondents.Thereafter, SPO3 Ramirez continued his search and then produced a .45
caliber pistol which he allegedly found inside the vehicle. Respondents arrested petitioner and detained
him, without any appropriate charge, at the PNP special detention cell.

P/Supt. Doria alleged that his office received a telephone call from a relative of Rosa Sia about a shooting
incident in Barangay Nursery. He dispatched a team headed by SPO3 Ramirez to investigate the
incident. SPO3 Ramirez later reported that a certain William Sia was wounded while petitioner, who was
implicated in the incident, and his wife just left the place of the incident. P/Supt. Doria looked for
petitioner and when he found him, he informed him of the incident report. P/Supt. Doria requested
petitioner to go with him to the police headquarters as he was reported to be involved in the
incident. Petitioner agreed but suddenly sped up his vehicle and proceeded to his residence. P/Supt.
Doria and his companions chased petitioner. Upon reaching petitioners residence, they caught up with
petitioner as he was about to run towards his house. The police officers saw a gun in the front seat of the
vehicle beside the driver’s seat as petitioner opened the door. They also saw a shotgun at the back of the
driver’s seat. The police officers confiscated the firearms and arrested petitioner. P/Supt. Doria alleged
that his men also arrested other persons who were identified to be with petitioner during the shooting
incident. Petitioner was charged with illegal possession of firearms and frustrated murder. An
administrative case was also filed against petitioner before this Court.
ISSUE
Whether or not the warrantless arrest and warrantless search and seizure were illegal.
HELD: NO
Petitioner alleges that his arrest and the search were unlawful under Section 5, Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules
on Criminal Procedure. Petitioner alleges that for the warrantless arrest to be lawful, the arresting officer
must have personal knowledge of facts that the person to be arrested has committed, is actually
committing, or is attempting to commit an offense. Petitioner alleges that the alleged shooting incident
was just relayed to the arresting officers, and thus they have no personal knowledge of facts as required
by the Rules.
We do not agree.
Section 5, Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure states:
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant,
arrest a person:
(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 person to be arrested has committed it; and
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place
where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while
being transferred from one confinement to another.
For the warrantless arrest under this Rule to be valid, two requisites must concur: (1) the offender
has just committed an offense; and (2) the arresting peace officer or private person has personal
knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it.
Personal knowledge of facts must be based on probable cause, which means an actual belief or
reasonable grounds of suspicion. The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when, in the absence of actual
belief of the arresting officers, the suspicion that the person to be arrested is probably guilty of
committing the offense is based on actual facts, i.e., supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in
themselves to create the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. A reasonable suspicion,
therefore, must be founded on probable cause, coupled with good faith on the part of the peace officers
making the arrest.
Section 5, Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure does not require the arresting officers to
personally witness the commission of the offense with their own eyes. In this case, P/Supt. Doria received
a report about the alleged shooting incident. SPO3 Ramirez investigated the report and learned from
witnesses that petitioner was involved in the incident. They were able to track down petitioner, but when
invited to the police headquarters to shed light on the incident, petitioner initially agreed then sped up
his vehicle, prompting the police authorities to give chase. Petitioners act of trying to get away, coupled
with the incident report which they investigated, is enough to raise a reasonable suspicion on the part of
the police authorities as to the existence of probable cause.
Plain View Doctrine
The seizure of the firearms was justified under the plain view doctrine.
Under the plain view doctrine, objects falling in the plain view of an officer who has a right to be in the
position to have that view are subject to seizure and may be presented as evidence. The plain view
doctrine applies when the following requisites concur: (1) the law enforcement officer in search of
the evidence has a prior justification for an intrusion or is in a position from which he can view a
particular area; (2) the discovery of the evidence in plain view is inadvertent; and (3) it is
immediately apparent to the officer that the item he observes may be evidence of a crime,
contraband or otherwise subject to seizure.
In this case, the police authorities were in the area because that was where they caught up with petitioner
after the chase. They saw the firearms inside the vehicle when petitioner opened the door. Since a
shooting incident just took place and it was reported that petitioner was involved in the incident, it was
apparent to the police officers that the firearms may be evidence of a crime. Hence, they were justified in
seizing the firearms.
Civil Liability Under Article 32 of the Civil Code
Petitioner alleges that respondents are civilly liable under paragraphs (4) and (9) of Article 32 of the Civil
Code.
Paragraphs (4) and (9) of Article 32 of the Civil Code respectively state:
Art. 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who directly or indirectly obstructs,
defeats, violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the following rights and liberties of another
person shall be liable to the latter for damages:
(4) Freedom from arbitrary or illegal detention;
(9) The right to be secure in one’s person, house, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and
seizures;
In this case, it was established that petitioner was lawfully arrested without a warrant and that firearms
were validly seized from his possession. The trial court found that petitioner was charged with illegal
possession of firearms and frustrated murder. We agree with the trial court in rejecting petitioner’s
allegation that he was merely framed-up. We also agree with the trial court that respondents were
presumed to be performing their duties in accordance with law. Hence, respondents should not be held
civilly liable for their actions.

TEODORO C. BORLONGAN, JR., CORAZON M. BEJASA, ARTURO E.


MANUEL, JR., ERIC L. LEE, P.
SIERVO H. DIZON, BENJAMIN DE
LEON, DELFIN C. GONZALES, JR.,
AND BEN YU LIM, JR., PETITIONERS,

- VERSUS -

MAGDALENO M. PEA AND HON.


MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., AS JUDGE DESIGNATE OF THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES,
BAGO CITY,
RESPONDENTS.
G.R. NO. 143591
MAY 5, 2010

Facts

Respondent Magdaleno Peña instituted a civil case for recovery of agent’s compensation and expenses,
damages, and attorney’s fees, against Urban Bank and the petitioners, before the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Negros Occidental, Bago City.- Respondent anchored his claim for compensation on the contract
of agency, allegedly entered into with the petitioners wherein the former undertook to perform such acts
necessary to prevent any intruder and squatter from unlawfully occupying Urban Bank’s property located
along Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.- Petitioners filed a MD arguing that they never appointed the
respondent as agent or counsel.-Attached to the MD were the following documents:1. A letter dated
December 19, 1994 signed by Herman Ponce and Julie Abad on behalf of Isabela Sugar Company, Inc.
(ISCI), the original owner of the subject property;2. An unsigned letter dated December 7, 1994 addressed
to Corazon Bejasa from Marilyn G. Ong;3. A letter dated December 9, 1994 addressed to Teodoro
Borlongan and signed by Marilyn G. Ong; and4. A Memorandum dated November 20, 1994 from Enrique
Montilla III.- The above stated documents were presented in an attempt to show that the respondent was
appointed as agent by ISCI and not by Urban Bank or by the petitioners.- Respondent Peña filed his
Complaint-Affidavit with the Office of the City Prosecutor, Bago City. He claimed that said documents
were falsified because the alleged signatories did not actually affix their signatures, and the signatories
were neither stockholders nor officers and employees of ISCI. Worse, petitioners introduced said
documents as evidence before the RTC knowing that they were falsified.-City Prosecutor’s Report (Sept
23, 1998) : In the report, the Prosecutor concluded that the petitioners were probably guilty of four (4)
counts of the crime of Introducing Falsified Documents penalized by the second paragraph of Article 172
of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). The City Prosecutor concluded that the documents were falsified
because the alleged signatories untruthfully stated that ISCI was the principal of the respondent; that
petitioners knew that the documents were falsified considering that the signatories were mere dummies;
and that the documents formed part of the record of Civil Case No. 754 where they were used by
petitioners as evidence in support of their motion to dismiss, adopted in their answer and later, in their
Pre- Trial Brief. Subsequently, the corresponding Information were filed with the Municipal Trial Court in
Cities (MTCC), Bago City. The cases were docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 6683, 6684, 6685,and
6686. Thereafter, Judge Primitivo Blanca issued the warrants for the arrest of the petitioners. Petitioners
(Oct `1, 1998) filed an Omnibus MQ : They insist that they were denied due process because of the non-
observance of a proper procedure on preliminary investigation prescribed in the Rules of Court; since no
such counter-affidavit and supporting documents were submitted by the petitioners, the trial judge
merely relied on the complaint-affidavit and attachments of the respondent in issuing the warrants of
arrest, also in contravention of the Rules. Moreover they claim that the respondent’s affidavit was not
based on the latter’s personal knowledge and therefore should not have been used by the court in
determining probable cause.-On the same day that the Omnibus MQ was filed, the petitioners posted
bail. Their bail bonds expressly provided that they do not intend to waive their right to question the
validity of their arrest. On the date of arraignment, the petitioners refused to enter their plea, for the
obvious reason that the legality of their information and their arrest was yet to be settled by the court.-
MTCC’s answer (in response to Omnibus MQ filed by petitioners): They upheld the validity of the warrant
of arrest, saying that it was issued in accordance with the Rules. Besides, (according to the MTCC)
petitioners could no longer question the validity of the warrant since they already posted bail.

Issue:

1) WON petitioners were deprived of their right to due process of law because of the denial of their right
to preliminary investigation and to submit their counter-affidavit;
2) WON the Information charging the petitioners were validly filed and the warrants for their arrest were
properly issued;
3) WON this Court can, itself, determine probable cause
4) WON the petitioners posting a bail constitutes a waiver of their right to question the validity of their
arrest.

Held:
Petition granted; MTCC is ordered to dismiss criminal cases against petitioners.

Decision

ISSUE 1 and 3 The following sections of Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure are relevant to
theaforesaid issues:

“SECTION 1. Definition. – Preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding for the purpose


of determining whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime
cognizable by the Regional Trial Court has been committed and that the respondent is probably guilty
thereof, and should be held for trial. …SEC. 3. Procedure. – Except as provided for in Section 7 hereof, no
complaint or information for an offense cognizable by the Regional Trial Court shall be filed without a
preliminary investigation having been first conducted in the following manner:(a) The complaint shall
state the known address of the respondent and be accompanied by affidavits of the complainant and his
witnesses as well as other supporting documents, in such number of copies as there are respondents, plus
two (2) copies of the official file. The said affidavits shall be sworn to before any fiscal, state prosecutor or
government official authorized to administer oath, or, in their absence or unavailability, a notary public,
who must certify that he personally examined the affiants and that he is satisfied that they voluntarily
executed and understood their affidavits. …SEC. 9. Cases not falling under the original jurisdiction of the
Regional Trial Courts not covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure. –(a) Where filed with the fiscal. – If
the complaint is filed directly with the fiscal or state prosecutor, the procedure outlined in Section 3 (a) of
this Rule shall be observed. The Fiscal shall take appropriate action based on the affidavits and other
supporting documents submitted by the complainant.”
-Records show that the prosecutor relied merely on the affidavits submitted by the complainant and did
not require the petitioners to submit their answer. He should not be faulted for doing such as this is
sanctioned by the rules. Moreover, he is not mandated to require the submission of counter-affidavits.
Probable cause may then be determined on the basis alone of the affidavits and supporting documents of
the complainant, without infringing on the constitutional rights of the petitioners.-Regarding the issuance
of the warrant of arrest, petitioners contend that the warrants were illegally issued as they were solely
based on the affidavits of the complainant. Section 2 of Article III of the Constitution underscores the
exclusive and personal responsibility of the issuing judge to satisfy himself of the existence of probable
cause. But the judge is not required to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses. Following
established doctrine and procedure, he shall (1) personally evaluate the report and the supporting
documents submitted by the prosecutor regarding the existence of probable cause, and on the basis
thereof, he may already make a personal determination of the existence of probable cause; and (2) if he is
not satisfied that probable cause exists, he may disregard the prosecutor’s report and require the
submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence
of probable cause. There is no provision or procedural rule which makes the submission of counter-
affidavits mandatory before the judge could determine probable cause.

ISSUE 2:- For the issuance of a warrant of arrest, probable cause has been defined as the existence of such
facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent person to believe that an
offense has been committed by the person sought to be arrested. It is one of the requisites for a warrant
of arrest to be valid.
- On the basis of the above-stated documents (in the facts) and on the strength of the affidavit executed
by the respondent, the prosecutor concluded that probable cause exists. These same affidavit and
documents were used by the trial court in issuing the warrant of arrest.
-The SC finds the complaint-affidavit and attachments insufficient to support the existence of probable
cause. The respondent’s claims of the falsity of the documents were mere assertions.
- It must be emphasized that the affidavit of the complainant, or any of his witnesses, shall allege facts
within their (affiants) personal knowledge. The allegation of the respondent that the signatures were
falsified does not qualify as personal knowledge. Nowhere in said affidavit did respondent state that he
was present at the time of the execution of the documents. Neither did he claim that he was familiar with
the signatures of the signatories. He simply made a bare assertion
-A finding of probable cause need not be based on clear and convincing evidence, or on evidence
beyond reasonable doubt. It does not require that the evidence would justify conviction. Nonetheless,
although the determination of probable cause requires less than evidence which would justify conviction,
it should at least be more than mere suspicion. While probable cause should be determined in a summary
manner, there is a need to examine the evidence with care to prevent material damage to a potential
accused’s constitutional right to liberty and the guarantees of freedom and fair play, and to protect the
State from the burden of unnecessary expenses in prosecuting alleged offenses and holding trials arising
from false, fraudulent or groundless charges.
ISSUE 4- The erstwhile ruling of this Court was that posting of bail constitutes a waiver of any irregularity
in the issuance of a warrant of arrest, that has already been superseded by Section 26, Rule 114 of the
Revised Rule of Criminal Procedure. The principle that the accused is precluded from questioning the
legality of the arrest after arraignment is true only if he voluntarily enters his plea and participates during
trial, without previously invoking his objections thereto. Moreover, considering the conduct of the
petitioner after posting her personal bail bond, it cannot be argued that she waived her right to question
the finding of probable cause and to assail the warrant of arrest issued against herby the respondent
judge. There must be clear and convincing proof that the petitioner had an actual intention to relinquish
her right to question the existence of probable cause. When the only proof of intention rests on what a
party does, his act should be so manifestly consistent with, and indicative of, an intent to voluntarily and
unequivocally relinquish the particular right that no other explanation of his conduct is possible. x x
x.Herein petitioners filed the Omnibus Motion to Quash, Recall Warrants of Arrest and/or For
Reinvestigation on the same day that they posted bail. Their bail bonds likewise expressly contained a
stipulation that they were not waiving their right to question the validity of their arrest. On the date of
their arraignment, petitioners refused to enter their plea due to the fact that the issue on the legality of
their arrest is still pending with the Court. Thus, when the court a quo entered a plea of not guilty for
them, there was no valid waiver of their right to preclude them from raising the same with the Court of
Appeals or this Court. The posting of bail bond was a matter of imperative necessity to avert their
incarceration; it should not be deemed as a waiver of their right to assail their arrest.

G.R. No. 176830 February 11, 2014

SATURNINO C. OCAMPO, Petitioner,


vs.
HON. EPHREM S. ABANDO, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of
Hilongos, Leyte, Branch 18, CESAR M. MERIN, in. his capacity as Approving Prosecutor and Officer-
in-Charge, ROSULO U. VIVERO, in his capacity as Investigating Prosecutor, RAUL M. GONZALEZ, in
his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Justice, Respondents.

FACTS:

On August 26, 2006, a mass grave was discovered by elements of the 43rd Infantry Brigade of the
Philippine Army at Sitio Sapang Daco, Barangay Kaulisihan, Inopacan, Leyte. The mass grave contained
skeletal remains of 67 individuals believed to be victims of "Operation Venereal Disease" (Operation VD)
launched by members of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National
Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP/NPA/NDFP) to purge their ranks of suspected military informers.

P C/Insp. Almaden of the (PNP) Regional Office 8 and Staff Judge Advocate Captain Allan Tiu (Army
Captain Tiu) of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army sent 12 undated letters to the Provincial
Prosecutor of Leyte through Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Rosulo U. Vivero (Prosecutor Vivero). The
letters requested appropriate legal action on 12 complaint-affidavits attached therewith accusing 71
named members of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic
Front of the Philippines (CPP/NPA/NDFP) of murder, including petitioners herein along with several other
unnamed members. Also attached to the letters were the affidavits of Zacarias Piedad,Leonardo C. Tanaid,
Floro M. Tanaid, Numeriano Beringuel, Glecerio Roluna and Veronica P. Tabara. They narrated that they
were former members of the CPP/NPA/NDFP. According to them, Operation VD was ordered in 1985 by
the CPP/NPA/NDFP Central Committee. Allegedly, petitioners Saturnino C. Ocampo (Ocampo),Randall B.
Echanis (Echanis),Rafael G. Baylosis (Baylosis),and Vicente P. Ladlad (Ladlad) were then members of the
Central Committee. From 1985 to 1992, at least 100 people had been abducted, hog-tied, tortured and
executed by members of the CPP/NPA/NDF pursuant to Operation VD.
On the basis of the 12 letters and their attachments, Prosecutor Vivero issued a subpoena requiring,
among others, petitioners to submit their counter-affidavits and those of their witnesses. Petitioner
Ocampo submitted his counter-affidavit. Petitioners Echanis and Baylosis did not file counter-affidavits
because they were allegedly not served the copy of the complaint and the attached documents or
evidence. Counsel of petitioner Ladlad made a formal entry of appearance on 8 December 2006 during
the preliminary investigation. However, petitioner Ladlad did not file a counter-affidavit because he was
allegedly not served a subpoena.
In a Resolution, Prosecutor Vivero recommended the filing of an Information for 15 counts of multiple
murder against 54 named members of the CPP/NPA/NDFP, including petitioners herein. Prosecutor
Vivero also recommended that Zacarias Piedad, Leonardo Tanaid, Numeriano Beringuel and Glecerio
Roluna be dropped as respondents and utilized as state witnesses, as their testimonies were vital to the
success of the prosecution. The Information was filed before the (RTC) of Hilongos, Leyte, Branch 18 (RTC
Hilongos, Leyte) presided by Judge Ephrem S. Abando (Judge Abando).
On March 6, 2007, Judge Abando issued an Order finding probable cause "in the commission by all
mentioned accused of the crime charged." He ordered the issuance of warrants of arrest against them
with no recommended bail for their temporary liberty.

On March 16, 2007, petitioner Ocampo filed a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition under Rule
65 of the Rules of Court seeking the annulment of the 6 March 2007 Order of Judge Abando and the
Resolution of Prosecutor Vivero. The petition prayed for the unconditional release of petitioner Ocampo
from PNP custody, as well as the issuance of a temporary restraining order/ writ of preliminary injunction
to restrain the conduct of further proceedings during the pendency of the petition. Petitioner Ocampo
argued that a case for rebellion against him and 44 others (including petitioners Echanis and Baylosisand
Ladlad) was then pending before the RTC Makati, Branch 150 (RTC Makati). Putting forward the political
offense doctrine, petitioner Ocampo argues that common crimes, such as murder in this case, are already
absorbed by the crime of rebellion when committed as a necessary means, in connection with and in
furtherance of rebellion.
While the proceedings were suspended, petitioner Echanis was arrested by virtue of the warrant of arrest
issued by Judge Abando. On 1 February 2008, petitioners Echanis and Baylosis filed a Motion for Judicial
Reinvestigation/ Determination of Probable Cause with Prayer to Dismiss the Case Outright and
Alternative Prayer to Recall/ Suspend Service of Warrant.
Judge Abando issued an Order denying the motion. Petitioners Echanis and Baylosis filed a Motion for
Reconsideration but before being able to rule thereon, Judge Abando issued an Order transmitting the
records of Criminal Case to the Office of the Clerk of Court, RTC Manila.
Petitioner Ladlad and Baylosis filed an Urgent Motion to Fix Bail and a Motion to Allow Petitioner to Post
Bail respectively. The OSG interposed no objection to the grant of a P100,000 cash bail to them. The Court
granted the motions of petitioners Ladlad and Baylosis and fixed their bail in the amount of P100,000,
subject to the condition that their temporary release shall be limited to the period of their actual
participation in the peace negotiations

ISSUE:

Whether or not the petitioners denied due process during preliminary investigation and in the issuance of
the warrant of arrest?

HELD: No.

"The essence of due process is reasonable opportunity to be heard and submit evidence in support of
one's defense." What is proscribed is lack of opportunity to be heard. Thus, one who has been afforded a
chance to present ones own side of the story cannot claim denial of due process.

Majority of the respondents did not submit their counter-affidavits because they could no longer be
found in their last known address, per return of the subpoenas. On the other hand, Saturnino Ocampo @
Satur, Fides Lim, Maureen Palejaro and Ruben Manatad submitted their Counter-Affidavits. However,
Vicente Ladlad and Jasmin Jerusalem failed to submit the required Counter Affidavits in spite entry of
appearance by their respective counsels.
Section 3(d), Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, allows Prosecutor Vivero to resolve the complaint based on
the evidence before him if a respondent could not be subpoenaed. As long as efforts to reach a
respondent were made, and he was given an opportunity to present countervailing evidence, the
preliminary investigation remains valid.

In this case, the Resolution stated that efforts were undertaken to serve subpoenas on the named
respondents at their last known addresses. This is sufficient for due process. It was only because a
majority of them could no longer be found at their last known addresses that they were not served copies
of the complaint and the attached documents or evidence. Petitioner Ladlad, through his counsel, had
every opportunity to secure copies of the complaint after his counsels formal entry of appearance and,
thereafter, to participate fully in the preliminary investigation. Instead, he refused to participate.

Neither can we uphold petitioner Ocampo’s contention that he was denied the right to be heard. For him
to claim that he was denied due process by not being furnished a copy of the Supplemental Affidavit of
Zacarias Piedad would imply that the entire case of the prosecution rested on the Supplemental Affidavit.
The OSG has asserted that the indictment of petitioner Ocampo was based on the collective affidavits of
several other witnesses attesting to the allegation that he was a member of the CPP/NPA/NDFP Central
Committee, which had ordered the launch of Operation VD.

Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution provides that "no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue
except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or
affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce."

Petitioner Ocampo alleges that Judge Abando did not comply with the requirements of the Constitution
in finding the existence of probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest against petitioners.

Probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest has been defined as "such facts and circumstances
which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed
by the person sought to be arrested" (Allado v. Diokno, G.R. No. 113630, May 5, 1994). Although the
Constitution provides that probable cause shall be determined by the judge after an examination under
oath or an affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses, we have ruled that a hearing is not necessary
for the determination thereof. In fact, the judge’s personal examination of the complainant and the
witnesses is not mandatory and indispensable for determining the aptness of issuing a warrant of arrest.

It is enough that the judge personally evaluates the prosecutors report and supporting documents
showing the existence of probable cause for the indictment and, on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of
arrest; or if, on the basis of his evaluation, he finds no probable cause, to disregard the prosecutor's
resolution and require the submission of additional affidavits of witnesses to aid him in determining its
existence. (Delos Santos-Reyes v. Montesa, Jr. 317 Phil. 101)

The determination of probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest against petitioners is
addressed to the sound discretion of Judge Abando as the trial judge.

Under the political offense doctrine, "common crimes, perpetrated in furtherance of a political offense,
are divested of their character as "common" offenses and assume the political complexion of the main
crime of which they are mere ingredients, and, consequently, cannot be punished separately from the
principal offense, or complexed with the same, to justify the imposition of a graver penalty." People v.
Hernandez, 99 Phil. 515

Any ordinary act assumes a different nature by being absorbed in the crime of rebellion. Thus, when a
killing is committed in furtherance of rebellion, the killing is not homicide or murder. Rather, the killing
assumes the political complexion of rebellion as its mere ingredient and must be prosecuted and
punished as rebellion alone.
But when the political offense doctrine is asserted as a defense in the trial court, it becomes crucial for the
court to determine whether the act of killing was done in furtherance of a political end, and for the
political motive of the act to be conclusively demonstrated.

Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Zamboanga Del Norte v. CA, 401 Phil 905 if during trial, petitioners
are able to show that the alleged murders were indeed committed in furtherance of rebellion, Section 14,
Rule 110 of the Rules of Court provides the remedy of Amendment or substitution.

Thus, if it is shown that the proper charge against petitioners should have been simple rebellion, the trial
court shall dismiss the murder charges upon the filing of the Information for simple rebellion, as long as
petitioners would not be placed in double jeopardy.

[G.R. NO. 117321. FEBRUARY 11, 1998]


THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. HERSON TAN Y VERZO, ACCUSED-
APPELLANT.

FACTS:

Tricycle driver Freddie Saavedra went to see his wife, Delfa, a to inform her that he will drive Lito Amido
and appellant Herson Tan to Barangay Maligaya. It was the last time that Freddie was seen alive. His body
was later found sprawled on a diversion road with fourteen stab wounds.
Subsequently, Lt. Santos, Cpl. Numeriano Aguilar and Pat. Rolando Alandy invited appellant in connection
with the instant case and with respect to two other robbery cases reported in Lucena City. During their
conversation, appellant allegedly gave an explicit account of what actually transpired in the case at bar.
He narrated that he and co-accused Amido were responsible for the loss of the motorcycle and the
consequent death of Saavedra. Moreover, he averred that they sold the motorcycle to a certain Danny
Teves of Barrio Summit, Muntinlupa. With the help of appellant as a guide, the Lucena PNP immediately
dispatched a team to retrieve the same.
Tan and Amido were charged with the crime of highway robbery with murder.
Lt. Carlos, on cross-examination, testified that when he invited appellant to their headquarters, he had no
warrant for his arrest. In the course thereof, he informed the latter that he was a suspect, not only in the
instant case, but also in two other robbery cases allegedly committed in Lucena City. In the belief that
they were merely conversing inside the police station, he admitted that he did not inform appellant of his
constitutional rights to remain silent and to the assistance of counsel; nor did he reduce the supposed
confession to writing.
In a decision dated April 21, 1994, the trial court convicted appellant.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the confession of the appellant, given before a police investigator upon invitation and
without the benefit of counsel, is admissible in evidence against him.

HELD, No.

It is well-settled that the Constitution abhors an uncounselled confession or admission and whatever
information is derived therefrom shall be regarded as inadmissible in evidence against the confessant.
R.A. No. 7438 reenforced the constitutional mandate protecting the rights of persons under custodial
investigation, a pertinent provision of which reads:
As used in this Act, "custodial investigation" shall include the practice of issuing an "invitation" to a
person who is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed, without
prejudice to the liability of the "inviting" officer for any violation of law.
Custodial investigation involves any questioning initiated by law enforcement authorities after a person is
taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant manner. The rules on
custodial investigation begin to operate as soon as the investigation ceases to be a general inquiry into
an unsolved crime and begins to focus a particular suspect, the suspect is taken into custody, and the
police carries out a process of interrogations that tends itself to eliciting incriminating statements that the
rule begins to operate.

Furthermore, not only does the fundamental law impose, as a requisite function of the investigating
officer, the duty to explain those rights to the accused but also that there must correspondingly be a
meaningful communication to and understanding thereof by the accused. A mere perfunctory reading by
the constable of such rights to the accused would thus not suffice.
Under the Constitution and existing law and jurisprudence, a confession to be admissible must satisfy the
following requirements: (1) it must be voluntary; (2) it must be made with the assistance of competent
and independent counsel; (3) it must be express; and (4) it must be in writing.

While the Constitution sanctions the waiver of the right to counsel, it must, however, be "voluntary,
knowing and intelligent, and must be made in the presence and with the assistance of counsel."

Any statement obtained in violation of the constitution, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, in whole or in
part, shall be inadmissible in evidence. Even if the confession contains a grain of truth, if it was made
without the assistance of counsel, it becomes inadmissible in evidence, regardless of the absence of
coercion or even if it had been voluntarily given. The evidence for the prosecution shows that when
appellant was invited for questioning at the police headquarters, he allegedly admitted his participation
in the crime. This will not suffice to convict him, however, of said crime. The constitutional rights of
appellant, particularly the right to remain silent and to counsel, are impregnable from the moment he is
investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed, even if the same be
initiated by mere invitation. "This Court values liberty and will always insist on the observance of basic
constitutional rights as a condition sine qua non against the awesome investigative and prosecutory
powers of government."

17. AAA vs Carbonell 524 SCRA 496

G.R. No. 171465 June 8, 2007

AAA *, petitioner,
vs.
HON. ANTONIO A. CARBONELL, in his capacity as Presiding Judge, Branch 27, Regional Trial Court, San
Fernando City, La Union and ENGR. JAIME O. ARZADON, respondents.

Facts
This petition for certiorari1 assails the December 16, 20052 Order of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 27,
San Fernando, La Union in Criminal Case No. 6983, dismissing the rape case filed against private
respondent Jaime O. Arzadon for lack of probable cause; and its February 3, 20063 Order denying
petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.

Petitioner worked as a secretary at the Arzadon Automotive and Car Service Center from February 28,
2001 to August 16, 2001. On May 27, 2001 at about 6:30 p.m., Arzadon asked her to deliver a book to an
office located at another building but when she returned to their office, the lights had been turned off
and the gate was closed. Nevertheless, she went inside to get her handbag.

On her way out, she saw Arzadon standing beside a parked van holding a pipe. He told her to go near
him and upon reaching his side, he threatened her with the pipe and forced her to lie on the pavement.
Petitioner did not report the incident because Arzadon threatened to kill her and her family. But when she
discovered that she was pregnant as a consequence of the rape, she narrated the incident to her parents.
On July 24, 2002, petitioner filed a complaint for rape against Arzadon.

On September 16, 2002, Assistant City Prosecutor Imelda Cosalan issued a Resolution finding probable
[4]

cause and recommending the filing of an information for rape. Arzadon moved for reconsideration and
during the clarificatory hearing held on October 11, 2002, petitioner testified before the investigating
prosecutor. However, she failed to attend the next hearing hence, the case was provisionally dismissed.

On March 5, 2003, petitioner filed another Affidavit-Complaint with a comprehensive account of the
[5]

alleged rape incident. The case was assigned to 2nd Assistant Provincial Prosecutor
Georgina Hidalgo. During the preliminary investigation, petitioner appeared for clarificatory
questioning. On June 11, 2003, the investigating prosecutor issued a Resolution finding that a prima
[6]

facie case of rape exists and recommending the filing of the information.

Arzadon moved for reconsideration and requested that a panel of prosecutors be constituted to review
the case. Thus, a panel of prosecutors was created and after the clarificatory questioning, the panel issued
on October 13, 2003 a Resolution finding probable cause and denying Arzadons motion for
[7]

reconsideration.

An Information for rape was filed before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 27, San Fernando, La Union
[8]

on February 6, 2004, docketed as Criminal Case No. 6415. Thereafter, Arzadon filed a Motion to Hold in
Abeyance All Court Proceedings Including the Issuance of a Warrant of Arrest and to Determine Probable
Cause for the Purpose of Issuing a Warrant of Arrest. On March 18, 2004, respondent Judge Antonio A.
[9]

Carbonell granted the motion and directed petitioner and her witnesses to take the witness stand for
determination of probable cause.

ISSUE
W/N respondent Judge Carbonell acted with grave abuse of discretion in dismissing Criminal Case No.
6983 for lack of probable cause.

HELD. Yes
The leading case of Soliven v. Makasiar, the Court explained that this constitutional provision does not
[22]

mandatorily require the judge to personally examine the complainant and her witnesses. Instead, he may
opt to personally evaluate the report and supporting documents submitted by the prosecutor or he may
disregard the prosecutors report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses

What the Constitution underscores is the exclusive and personal responsibility of the issuing judge to
satisfy himself of the existence of probable cause. In satisfying himself of the existence of probable cause
for the issuance of a warrant of arrest, the judge is not required to personally examine the complainant
and his witnesses. Following established doctrine and procedure, he shall: (1) personally evaluate the
report and the supporting documents submitted by the fiscal regarding the existence of probable cause
and, on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest; or (2) if on the basis thereof he finds no probable
cause, he may disregard the fiscals report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses
to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of probable cause.
In this case, respondent Judge Carbonell dismissed Criminal Case No. 6983 without taking into
consideration the June 11, 2003 Resolution of 2nd Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Georgina Hidalgo, the
October 13, 2003 Resolution of the panel of prosecutors, and the July 1, 2005 Resolution of the
Department of Justice, all of which sustain a finding of probable cause against Arzadon.Moreover, he
failed to evaluate the evidence in support thereof. Respondent judges finding of lack of probable cause
was premised only on the complainants and her witnesses absence during the hearing scheduled by the
respondent judge for the judicial determination of probable cause.

It is clear therefore that respondent Judge Carbonell gravely abused his discretion in dismissing Criminal
Case No. 6983 for lack of probable cause on the ground that petitioner and her witnesses failed to take
the witness stand. Considering there is ample evidence and sufficient basis on record to support a finding
of probable cause, it was unnecessary for him to take the further step of examining the petitioner and her
witnesses. Moreover, he erred in holding that petitioners absences in the scheduled hearings were
indicative of a lack of interest in prosecuting the case. In fact, the records show that she has relentlessly
pursued the same.

G.R. NO. 183700 OCTOBER 13, 2014

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,


VS.
PABLITO ANDAYA Y REANO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

The non-presentation of the confidential informant as a witness does not ordinarily weaken the State's
case against the accused. However, if the arresting lawmen arrested the accused based on the pre-
arranged signal from the confidential informant who acted as the poseur buyer, his nonpresentation must
be credibly explained and the transaction established by other ways in order to satisfy the quantum of
proof beyond reasonable doubt because the arresting lawmen did not themselves participate in the buy-
bust transaction with the accused.

Antecedents
On February 7, 2003, an information for violation of Section 5 of Republic Act No. 91651 (RA 9165) was
filed charging Pablito Andaya y Reano (Andaya). The accusatory portion of the information reads:
That on or about December 16, 2002 at around 9:50 o'clock in the evening at Brgy. San Jose Sico,
Batangas City, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused,
not being authorized by law, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, sell, dispense or
deliver, more or less 0.09 gram(s) of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu), a dangerous drug, which
is a clear violation of the above-cited law. CONTRARY TO LAW.

FACTS

8:00 o'clock in the evening of December 16, 2002, their asset who was conducting surveillance of Pablito
Andaya in Barangay San Jose Sico, Batangas City, arrived at their station. Said asset reported that he had
arranged to buy shabu from Pablito.
A team composed of SPO1 Aguila, SPO1 Cabungcal, Eric de Chavez, PO1 Lindberg Yap, Edwalberto Villar
and asset Bagsit was constituted to conduct a buy-bust. Two (2) pieces of 竄 ア 100.00 bills both duly
marked "X" were recorded in the police blotter. Alea gave the marked bills to the asset. Upon reaching
the designated place, the team members alighted from their vehicles and occupied different positions
where they could see and observe the asset. The asset knocked on the door of Pablito's house. Pablito
came out. Pablito and the asset talked briefly. The asset gave Pablito the marked money. The asset
received something from appellant. The pre-arranged signal signifying consummation of the transaction
was given. The team members approached Pablito and the asset, introduced themselves as police officers
and arrested accused.

ISSUE:

W/N the search of his house and his person and his arrest by the police officers violated his
constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures; and that the Prosecution's
nonpresentation of the confidential informant was adverse to the Prosecution, indicating that his guilt
was not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

HELD. YES
To secure the conviction of the accused who is charged with the illegal sale of dangerous drugs as
defined and punished by Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 (Comprehensive Drugs Act of
2002), the State must establish the concurrence of the following elements, namely: (a) that the transaction
or sale took place between the accused and the poseur buyer; and ( b) that the dangerous drugs subject
of the transaction or sale is presented in court as evidence of the corpus delicti.
10

We reiterate that a buy-bust operation is a valid and legitimate form of entrapment of the drug
pusher. In such operation, the poseur buyer transacts with the suspect by purchasing a quantity of the
11

dangerous drug and paying the price agreed upon, and in turn the drug pusher turns over or delivers the
dangerous drug subject of their agreement in exchange for the price or other consideration. Once the
transaction is consummated, the drug pusher is arrested, and can be held to account under the criminal
law. The justification that underlies the legitimacy of the buy-bust operation is that the suspect is arrested
in jlagranti delicto, that is, the suspect has just committed, or is in the act of committing, or is attempting
to commit the offense in the presence of the arresting police officer or private person. The arresting
12

police officer or private person is favored in such instance with the presumption of regularity in the
performance of official duty.
The presentation of the confidential informants as witnesses for the Prosecution in those instances could
be excused because there were poseur buyers who directly incriminated the accused. In this case,
however, it was different, because the poseur buyer and the confidential informant were one and the
same. Without the poseur buyer's testimony, the State did not credibly incriminate Andaya.
Another mark of suspicion attending the evidence of guilt related to the reliance by the members of the
buy-bust team on the pre-arranged signal from the poseur buyer. To start with, the record does not show
what the prearranged signal consisted of. It is fundamental enough to expect the State to be clear and
definite about its evidence of guilt, particularly here where the conviction of Andaya would require him to
spend the rest of his natural life behind bars. Nothing less should be done here. Secondly, the reliance on
the supposed signal to establish the consummation of the transaction between the poseur buyer and
Andaya was unwarranted because the unmitigatedly hearsay character of the signal rendered it entirely
bereft of trustworthiness. The arresting members of the buy-bust team interpreted the signal from the
anonymous poseur buyer as the sign of the consummation of the transaction. Their interpretation, being
necessarily subjective without the testimony of the poseur buyer, unfairly threatened the liberty of
Andaya. We should not allow that threat to perpetuate itself. And, lastly, the reliance on the signal would
deprive Andaya the right to confront and test the credibility of the poseur buyer who supposedly gave it

WHEREFORE, the Court REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the decision promulgated on February 11, 2008;
ACQUITS accused Pablito Andaya y Reano for failure to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt; and
ORDERS his immediate release from confinement at the National Penitentiary in Muntinlupa City

[G.R. NO. 123595. DECEMBER 12, 1997]


SAMMY MALACAT Y MANDAR, PETITIONER, VS. COURT OF APPEALS, AND PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

FACTS

On August 29, 1990 at about 6:30 in the evening, allegedly in response to bomb threats reported seven
days earlier, Rodolfo Yu and three other police officers are on foot patrol along Quezon Boulevard,
Quiapo, Manila, near the Mercury Drug store at Plaza Miranda. They chanced upon two groups of Muslim-
looking men, with each group, comprised of three to four men, posted at opposite sides of the corner.
N
The policemen approached the group and conducted “stop and frisk, a warrantless arrest, and had
found a grenade from Malacat’s waist, which was considered as incidental to a lawful arrest. The trial court
thus found Malacat guilty of the crime of illegal possession of explosives under Section 3 of PD 1866.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE

Whether or not the search made on Malacat is valid, pursuant to a “stop and frisk”

RULING
NO.

The general rule as regards arrests, searches and seizures is that a warrant is needed in order to
validly effect the same. The Constitutional prohibition against unreasonable arrests, searches and seizures
refers to those effected without a validly issued warrant, subject to certain exceptions.
As regards valid warrantless arrests, these are found in Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court,
which reads, in part:
Sec. 5. -- Arrest, without warrant; when lawful -- A peace officer or a private person may, without a
warrant, arrest a person:

(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 person to be arrested has committed it; and
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped.
A warrantless arrest under the circumstances contemplated under Section 5(a) has been denominated as
one "in flagrante delicto," while that under Section 5(b) has been described as a "hot pursuit" arrest.

WARRANTLESS ARREST
Turning to valid warrantless searches, they are limited to the following:
(1) customs searches;
(2) search of moving vehicles;
(3) seizure of evidence in plain view;
(4) consent searches;
(5) a search incidental to a lawful arrest; and
(6) a "stop and frisk."

In the instant petition, the trial court validated the warrantless search as a stop and frisk with the seizure
of the grenade from the accused [as] an appropriate incident to his arrest, hence necessitating a brief
discussion on the nature of these exceptions to the warrant requirement.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "STOP-AND-FRISK" AND SEARCH INCIDENTAL TO A LAWFUL ARREST

At the outset, we note that the trial court confused the concepts of a "stop-and-frisk" and of a search
incidental to a lawful arrest. These two types of warrantless searches differ in terms of the requisite
quantum of proof before they may be validly effected and in their allowable scope.

In a search incidental to a lawful arrest, as the precedent arrest determines the validity of the incidental
search, the legality of the arrest is questioned in a large majority of these cases, e.g., whether an arrest
was merely used as a pretext for conducting a search. In this instance, the law requires that there first be a
lawful arrest before a search can be made -- the process cannot be reversed. At bottom, assuming a valid
arrest, the arresting officer may search the person of the arrestee and the area within which the latter may
reach for a weapon or for evidence to destroy, and seize any money or property found which was used in
the commission of the crime, or the fruit of the crime, or that which may be used as evidence, or which
might furnish the arrestee with the means of escaping or committing violence.

Here, there could have been no valid in flagrante delicto or hot pursuit arrest preceding the search in
light of the lack of personal knowledge on the part of Yu, the arresting officer, or an overt physical act, on
the part of petitioner, indicating that a crime had just been committed, was being committed or was
going to be committed.
Having thus shown the invalidity of the warrantless arrest in this case, plainly, the search conducted on
petitioner could not have been one incidental to a lawful arrest.

We now proceed to the justification for and allowable scope of a "stop-and-frisk" as a "limited
protective search of outer clothing for weapons," as laid down in Terry, thus:

“We merely hold today that where a police officer observes unusual conduct which leads him reasonably
to conclude in light of his experience that criminal activity may be afoot and that the persons with whom
he is dealing may be armed and presently dangerous, where in the course of investigating this behavior
he identifies himself as a policeman and makes reasonable inquiries, and where nothing in the initial
stages of the encounter serves to dispel his reasonable fear for his own or others' safety, he is entitled for
the protection of himself and others in the area to conduct a carefully limited search of the outer clothing
of such persons in an attempt to discover weapons which might be used to assault him. Such a search is a
reasonable search under the Fourth Amendment.”

Other notable points of Terry are that while probable cause is not required to conduct a "stop and
frisk," it nevertheless holds that mere suspicion or a hunch will not validate a "stop and frisk." A genuine
reason must exist, in light of the police officer's experience and surrounding conditions, to warrant the
belief that the person detained has weapons concealed about him.

Finally, a "stop-and-frisk" serves a two-fold interest:


(1) the general interest of effective crime prevention and detection, which underlies the recognition
that a police officer may, under appropriate circumstances and in an appropriate manner, approach a
person for purposes of investigating possible criminal behavior even without probable cause; and
(2) the more pressing interest of safety and self-preservation which permit the police officer to take
steps to assure himself that the person with whom he deals is not armed with a deadly weapon that could
unexpectedly and fatally be used against the police officer.

WHY IS THE STOP-AND-FRISK INVALID?


Here, here are at least three (3) reasons why the stop-and-frisk was invalid:

First, we harbor grave doubts as to Yus claim that petitioner was a member of the group which attempted
to bomb Plaza Miranda two days earlier. This claim is neither supported by any police report or record nor
corroborated by any other police officer who allegedly chased that group.
Second, there was nothing in petitioner’s behavior or conduct which could have reasonably elicited even
mere suspicion.
Third, there was at all no ground, probable or otherwise, to believe that petitioner was armed with a
deadly weapon. None was visible to Yu, for as he admitted, the alleged grenade was discovered inside the
front waistline of petitioner, and from all indications as to the distance between Yu and petitioner, any
telltale bulge, assuming that petitioner was indeed hiding a grenade, could not have been visible to Yu.
What is unequivocal then in this case are blatant violations of petitioners rights solemnly guaranteed
in Sections 2 and 12(1) of Article III of the Constitution.
WHEREFORE, the challenged decision of the Seventeenth Division of the Court of Appeals in CA-
G.R. CR No. 15988 is SET ASIDE for lack of jurisdiction on the part of said Court and, on ground of
reasonable doubt, the decision of 10 February 1994 of Branch 5 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila is
REVERSED and petitioner SAMMY MALACAT y MANDAR is hereby ACQUITTED and ORDERED immediately
released from detention, unless his further detention is justified for any other lawful cause.
G.R. NO. 185719 JUNE 17, 2013
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
VS.
MARCELINO COLLADO Y CUNANAN, MYRA COLLADO Y SENICA, MARK CIPRIANO Y ROCERO,
SAMUEL SHERWIN LATARIO Y ENRIQUE,* AND REYNALDO RANADA Y ALAS**, ACCUSED-
APPELLANTS.

FACTS

On October 9, 2004, PO2 Noble received information from a civilian asset that spouses Marcelino
and Myra were engaged in selling shabu and that drug users, including out-of-school youth, were using
their residence for their drug sessions. A surveillance on the couple's residence was conducted and after
confirming the reported activities, a buy-bust operation was ensued.

Upon reaching the target area, the asset introduced PO2 Noble to Marcelino as a regular buyer of
shabu. During negotiation, Marcelino took from his pocket a small metal container from which he brought
out a small plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance and gave the same to PO2 Noble. While
PO2 Noble was inspecting its contents, he noticed smoke coming from a table inside the house of the
couple around which were seven persons. When PO2 Noble gave the pre-arranged signal, the backup
team rushed to the scene. Simultaneously, PO2 Noble introduced himself as a policeman and arrested
Marcelino. He frisked him and was able to confiscate the metal container that contained another sachet
of white crystalline substance.

Meanwhile, SPO2 Cruz and another police officer went inside the house of Marcelino and Myra, where
they found Apelo, Cipriano, Ranada, Abache, Sumulong, Madarang and Latario gathered around a table
littered with various drug paraphernalia such as an improvised water pipe, strips of aluminum foil with
traces of white substance, disposable lighters, and plastic sachets. The buy-bust team arrested all these
persons.

The RTC rendered judgment finding the accused MARCELINO and MYRA GUILTY beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime possessing and selling of dangerous drug while the rest of the accused were found
guilty for possessing drug paraphernalia in violation of Section 14, Article II of RA 9165.
The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC with modification. Hence, the appellants appealed to the
Supreme Court arguing that irregularities attended their arrest and detention as well as the procedure in
handling the specimen allegedly seized from them.

ISSUE
Whether or not there was irregularity in the arrest of the appellant-spouses because there was no
warrant of arrest.

HELD
NO.

The presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties must be upheld in the absence of
clear and convincing evidence to overturn the same.
Appellants argue that the arrest, search, and seizure conducted by the police were illegal since it was not
supported by a valid warrant. They thus posit that their right to be secure in their persons, houses,
papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures was violated.

Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court provides for lawful warrantless arrests, viz:
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. -- A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant,
arrest a person:

(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 probable cause to believe based on
personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who escaped from a penal establishment or place where
he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being
transferred from one confinement to another.

Section 5(a) is what is known as arrest in flagrante delicto. For this type of warrantless arrest to be valid,
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." A common example
of an arrest in flagrante delicto is one made after conducting a buy-bust operation.

This is precisely what happened in the present case. The arrest of the appellants was an arrest in
flagrante delicto made in pursuance of Sec. 5(a), Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. The arrest was effected
after Marcelino and Myra performed the overt act of selling to PO2 Noble the sachet of shabu and Ranada
of having in his control and custody illegal drug paraphernalia. Thus, there is no other logical conclusion
than that the arrest made by the police officers was a valid warrantless arrest since the same was made
while the appellants were actually committing the said crimes.

The arrest of the appellants was lawful. Under Section 13, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court, "[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." The factual milieu of this
case clearly shows that the search was made after appellants were lawfully arrested. Pursuant to the
above-mentioned rule, the subsequent search and seizure made by the police officers were likewise valid.
Hence, appellants' claim of unreasonable search and seizure must fail.
The appealed Decision should be affirmed.

G.R. NO. 188133 JULY 7, 2014


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE,
VS.
OLIVER RENATO EDAÑO Y EBDANE, APPELLANT.

FACTS

August 6, 2002, members of the Metro Manila Drugs Enforcement Group, composed of PO3 Corbe, PO3
Nelson Javier, PO3 Dennis Padpad, PO3 Marcelo Alcancia, Jr., together with a female informant, went to
the parking area of McDonalds, West Avenue to conduct an entrapment operation against a certain alias
"Nato."
At around 7:00 p.m., the appellant arrived on board a space wagon driven by Siochi. The informant
approached the appellant and talked to him inside the vehicle. Afterwards, the informant waved at PO3
Corbe. When PO3 Corbe was approaching the appellant, the latter went out of the vehicle and ran away.
The police was able to grab the accused, causing the latter to fall on the ground. A "knot-tied"
transparent plastic bag from the appellant’s right hand was recovered, while a gun tucked in the
appellant’s waist was seized. The other members of the police arrested Siochi. Thereafter, the police
brought the appellant, Siochi and the seized items to the police station for investigation.

The RTC found the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegal possession of shabu under
Section 11, Article II of R.A. No. 9165, and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment. It also
ordered him to pay a ₱500,000.00 fine.The RTC, however, acquitted Siochi on the ground of reasonable
doubt.

On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC decision in toto.

ISSUE
Whether or not the arrest was valid and the items seized were admissible for evidence.

RULING

NO.

Section 5(a), Rule 113 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that a peace officer or a private person
may, without a warrant, arrest a person when, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is
actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense. This is known an arrest in flagrante delicto.20
"For a warrantless arrest of an accused caught in flagrante delictoto be valid, 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."

In the present case, there was no overt act indicative of a felonious enterprise that could be properly
attributed to the appellant to rouse suspicion in the mind of PO3 Corbe that he (appellant) had just
committed, was actually committing, or was attempting to commit a crime. In fact, PO3 Corbe testified
that the appellant and the informant were just talking with each other when he approached them. There
was no exchange of money and drugs when he approached the car. He also admitted on cross-
examination that he had no personal knowledge on whether there was a prohibited drug and gun inside
the space wagon when he approached it.

That the appellant attempted to run away when PO3 Corbe approached him is irrelevant and cannot by
itself be construed as adequate to charge the police officer with personal knowledge that the appellant
had just engaged in, was actually engaging in or was attempting to engage in criminal activity.

In other words, trying to run away when no crime has been overtly committed, and without more, cannot
be evidence of guilt.
Considering that the appellant’s warrantless arrest was unlawful, the search and seizure that resulted from
it was likewise illegal. Thus, the alleged plastic bag containing white crystalline substances seized from
him is inadmissible in evidence, having come from an invalid search and seizure.

In sum, we hold that the appellant’s acquittal is in order since the shabu purportedly seized from him is
inadmissible in evidence for being the proverbial fruit of the poisonous tree. Corollarily, the prosecution's
failure to comply with Section 21, Article II of R.A. No. 9165, and with the chain of custody requirement of
this Act, compromised the identity of the item seized, leading to the failure to adequately prove the
corpus delictiof the crime charged.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, we REVERSE and SET ASIDE the October 16, 2008 decision and the
December 23, 2008 resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR HC No. 01142. Appellant Oliver
Renato Edaño y Ebdane is hereby ACQUITTED for failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond
reasonable doubt. He is ordered immediately RELEASED from detention unless he is otherwise legally
confined for another cause.

G.R. NO. 205741 JULY 23, 2014


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELIEE,
VS.
REYMAN ENDAYA Y LAIG, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

FACTS

On 11 November 2002, police operatives of Mataasnakahoy Police Station, acting on a report from a
barangay official that appellant is involved in illegal drug activities,conducted surveillance operations on
appellant. A week of surveillance confirmed the veracity of the report.

The police operatives and the civilian asset proceeded to the place of operation: the Golden Luck
Beer Garden located at Barangay2-A, Mataasnakahoy, Batangas. At a distance of about ten (10) to fifteen
(15) meters from the beer house, the civilian asset alighted from the vehicle and proceeded on foot to the
establishment where appellant was a regular customer. In the meantime, the buy-bust team positioned
themselves ata place outside the restaurant not far from where the civilian asset was. Appellant
subsequently arrived and approached the civilian asset, who was standing in front of the beer house. The
two talked for a while, after which, the police operatives saw the civilian asset hand the marked money to
appellant who, in turn, handed something to the former which later turned out to be a plastic sachet
containing shabu.

After receiving the plastic sachet from appellant, the civilian asset made the pre-arranged signal of
touching his head to signify that the transaction had been completed. The police officers then
immediately approached appellant. Appellant was forthwith brought to the Mataasnakahoy Police Station
where police officers again searched his body to look for an identification card. This body search yielded
another eight (8) plastic sachets of shabu, found in his wallet by PO2 Chavez aside from the other sachets
confiscated during the buy-bust operation.

The trial court found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt which was affirmed by the CA.
Hence, this petition.

ISSUE
Whether or not the there was a lawful arrest and the sachets of shabu confiscated were
admissible as evidence.

RULING

YES.
The sachets of shabu are not fruits of poisonous tree; hence, admissible in evidence against appellant.

Appellant continued to crave for acquittal claiming that, assuming without conceding that he had in fact
sold and possessed the plastic sachets of shabu, they cannot be admitted in evidence for being fruits of a
poisonous tree, having been obtained after an unlawful arrest and search. Appellant’s insistence on the
illegality of his warrantless arrest lacks merit. Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court allows a warrantless
arrest under any of the following circumstances:

Sec 5. Arrest without warrant, when lawful – A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant,
arrest a person:
(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 just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place
where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped
while being transferred from one confinement to another.

In this case, the arrest of appellant was effected under paragraph (a) or what is termed "in flagrante
delicto." For a warrantless arrest of an accused caught in flagrante delicate under paragraph (a) of the
afore-quoted Rule, 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.

Here, SPO4 Benedicto, SPO2 Babadilla, and PO2 Chavez personally witnessed the exchange between
appellant and the poseur-buyer of the marked money and the plastic sachet containing a white crystalline
substance which subsequently tested positive for shabu.At the time he was arrested, therefore, appellant
was clearly committing a crime in full view of the buy-bust team. As held by the CA:

Because [appellant] had been caught in flagrante delictoby the apprehending police officers, they, as the
arresting officers were duty- bound to apprehend the culprit immediately and to search him for anything
that may be used as proof of the commission of the crime. The search, being an incident of a lawful arrest,
needed no warrant for its validity.

G.R. NO. 189272, JANUARY 21, 2015


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, V. CHI CHAN LIU A. K. A. CHAN QUE AND HUI LAO
CHUNG A.K.A. LEOFE SENGLAO, APPELLANTS.

FACTS

At 10:00 a.m. of December 3, 1998, SPO2 Lazaro Paglicawan and SPO3 Isagani Yuzon, the officers-
on-duty at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Station, Looc, Occidental Mindoro, received a radio
message from the Barangay Captain of Ambil Island, Looc, Maximo Torreliza, that a suspicious looking
boat was seen somewhere within the vicinity of said island.

Immediately thereafter, the police officers headed towards the specified location wherein they spotted
two (2) boats anchored side by side, one of which resembled a fishing boat and the other, a speedboat.
They noticed one (1) person on board the fishing boat and two (2) on board the speed boat who were
transferring cargo from the former to the latter. As they moved closer to the area, the fishing boat
hurriedly sped away.
Due to the strong waves, the police officers were prevented from chasing the same and instead, went
towards the speed boat, which seemed to be experiencing engine trouble. On board the speed boat, the
officers found the appellants Chi Chan Liu a.k.a. Chan Que and Hui Lao Chung a.k.a. Leofe Senglao with
several transparent plastic bags containing a white, crystalline substance they instantly suspected to be
the regulated drug, methamphetamine hydrochloride, otherwise known as “shabu.”
They requested the appellants to show their identification papers but appellants failed to do so.Thus, the
police officers directed appellants to transfer to their service boat and thereafter towed appellants’ speed
boat to the shore behind the Municipal Hall of Looc, Occidental Mindoro. On their way, the police officers
testified that appellant Chi Chan Liu repeatedly offered them “big, big amount of money” which they
ignored.

The RTC found the accused guilty of RA 7659 known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. The
same was upheld by the CA. Hence this petition.

ISSUE
Whether or not there was a valid warrantless arrest and the seizure of the evidences falls within
the principle of plain view doctrine.

RULING

YES.

In this case, appellants were actually committing a crime and were caught by the apprehending officers in
flagrante delicto. As previously stated, the records reveal that on the date of their arrest, the
apprehending officers, while acting upon a report from the Barangay Captain, spotted appellants
transferring cargo from one boat to another. However, one of the boats hastily sped away when they
drew closer to the appellants, naturally arousing the suspicion of the officers. Soon after, the police
officers found them with the illegal drugs plainly exposed to the view of the officers. When they
requested appellants to show proper documentation as to their identity as well as their purpose for being
there, appellants refused to show them anything much less respond to any of their questions. In fact,
when the officers were transporting appellants and the illegal drugs to the shore, the appellant Chi Chan
Liu even repeatedly offered the arresting officers “big, big amount of money.” Hence, the circumstances
prior to and surrounding the arrest of appellants clearly show that they were arrested when they were
actually committing a crime within the view of the arresting officers, who had reasonable ground to
believe that a crime was being committed.

In addition, this Court does not find the consequent warrantless search and seizure conducted on
appellants unreasonable in view of the fact that the bags containing the regulated drugs were in plain
view of the arresting officers, one of the judicially recognized exceptions to the requirement of obtaining
a search warrant.

Under the plain view doctrine, objects falling in the "plain view" of an officer, who has a right to be in the
position to have that view, are subject to seizure and may be presented as evidence.45 It applies when
the following requisites concur: (a) the law enforcement officer in search of the evidence has a prior
justification for an intrusion or is in a position from which he can view a particular area; (b) the discovery
of the evidence in plain view is inadvertent; and (c) it is immediately apparent to the officer that the item
he observes may be evidence of a crime, contraband, or otherwise subject to seizure. The law
enforcement officer must lawfully make an initial intrusion or properly be in a position from which he can
particularly view the area. In the course of such lawful intrusion, he came inadvertently across a piece of
evidence incriminating the accused. The object must be open to eye and hand, and its discovery
inadvertent.

In the case at hand, the apprehending officers were performing their duty of ascertaining whether a
criminal activity was indeed happening at the time and place reported by the Barangay Captain. In broad
daylight, appellants were seen in the act of transferring bags of illegal drugs from one boat to another
and thereafter caught in possession of the same, which became inadvertently and immediately apparent
from the point of view of the arresting officers. It is undeniably clear, therefore, that the seizure of illegal
drugs conducted by the officers falls within the purview of the “plain view” doctrine. Consequently, the
confiscated drugs are admissible as evidence against appellants.
SALVADOR V. REBELLION V. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. NO. 175700. JULY 05, 2010

FACTS

This petition for review assails the Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) which affirmed the Decision of
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Mandaluyong City finding petitioner guilty of violation of Section 16,
Article III of Republic Act (RA) No. 6425 (otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as
amended).

An Information was filed charging petitioner Salvador V. Rebellion of illegal possession of dangerous
drugs. On July 27, 2000, the Mayor’s Action Command (MAC) team of Mandaluyong witnessed petitioner
handing a piece of plastic sachet to his companion Clarito Yanson. Suspecting that that the substance was
“shabu,” team members PO3 Garcia and PO3 Sotomayor alighted from their motorcycles and approached
them. Clarito was not able to completely get hold of the plastic sachet because of their arrival. Upon
inquiry by PO3 Garcia what petitioner was holding, the latter presented three strips of aluminum foil
which the former confiscated. There and then, petitioner and Clarito were apprehended and brought to
the CID for investigation. After laboratory examination, the white crystalline substance placed inside the
plastic sachet was found positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, a regulated drug.
Petitioner denied the charge against him. On appeal, petitioner insisted that his warrantless arrest was
unlawful since he was not committing any crime when he was arrested.

On September 26, 2006, the CA affirmed the judgment of the RTC with modification. The appellate court
sustained the validity of the warrantless arrest of petitioner holding that the latter was caught by the
MAC team in flagrante delicto or while he was in the act of giving to Clarito a plastic sachet of shabu.
Petitioner challenges the legality of his warrantless arrest by asserting that at the time he was
apprehended, he was not committing or attempting to commit an offense. Petitioner argues that since his
arrest was illegal, the eventual search on his person was also unlawful. Thus, the illicit items confiscated
from him are inadmissible in evidence for being violative of his constitutional right against unreasonable
searches and seizure.

ISSUE
Whether or not the warrantless arrest was valid.

HELD

The Supreme Court ruled in the affirmative. The Supreme Court made it clear the even if the warrant was
not valid, it would still prevail because petitioner did not file a motion to quash regarding this before
entering his plea. It has been consistently ruled that an accused is estopped from assailing any irregularity
of his arrest if he fails to raise this issue or to move for the quashal of the information against him on this
ground before arraignment. Any objection involving a warrant of arrest or the procedure by which the
court acquired jurisdiction over the person of the accused must be made before he enters his plea;
otherwise, the objection is deemed waived. In this case, petitioner was duly arraigned, entered a negative
plea and actively participated during the trial. Thus, he is deemed to have waived any perceived defect in
his arrest and effectively submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court trying his case.

In answering the petitioner's issue, the Supreme Court rules that the arrest was valid and it was an
arrest in flagrante delicto. After the suspicion of the officers was aroused, they introduced themselves and
from a distance of the officers saw a sachet with white crystalline substance which they confiscated.
Consequently, the results of the attendant search and seizure were admissible in evidence to prove his
guilt of the offense charged.

In any event, the warrantless arrest of accused-appellant was lawful because he was caught by the
police officers in flagrante delicto or while he was in the act of handing to Clarito Yanson a plastic sachet
of shabu. Upon seeing the exchange, PO3 Sotomayor and PO3 Garcia approached accused-appellant and
Clarito Yanson and introduced themselves as members of the MAC. PO3 Sotomayor confiscated from
accused-appellant the plastic sachet of shabu while PO3 Garcia confiscated the aluminum foil strips which
accused-appellant was also holding in his other hand.

Jurisprudence is settled that the arresting officer in a legitimate warrantless arrest has the authority
to search on the belongings of the offender and confiscate those that may be used to prove the
commission of the offense.

ALVIN COMERCIANTE Y GONZALES V. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. NO. 205926, JULY 2 2015

FACTS

At around 10 o'clock in the evening of July 30, 2003, Agent Eduardo Radan of the NARCOTICS group
and P03 Bienvy Calag II were aboard a motorcycle, patrolling the area while on their way to visit a friend
at Private Road, Barangay Hulo, Mandaluyong City. Cruising at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour along
Private Road, they spotted, at a distance of about 10 meters, two (2) men - later identified as Comerciante
and a certain Erick Dasilla - standing and showing improper and unpleasant movements, with one of
them handing plastic sachets to the other. Thinking that the sachets may contain shabu, they immediately
stopped and approached Comerciante and Dasilla. At a distance of around five (5) meters, P03 Calag
introduced himself as a police officer, arrested Comerciante and Dasilla, and confiscated two (2) plastic
sachets containing white crystalline substance from them. A laboratory examination later confirmed that
said sachets contained methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.

ISSUE

Whether or not the warrantless search is valid.

HELD

No, the search was not valid and the accused was acquitted. Under Section 2, Article III21 of the
Constitution mandates that a search and seizure must be carried out through or on the strength of a
judicial warrant predicated upon the existence of probable cause; in the absence of such warrant, such
search and seizure becomes, as a general rule, unreasonable within the meaning of said constitutional
provision. To protect people from unreasonable searches and seizures, Section 3 (2), Article III 22 of the
Constitution provides an exclusionary rule which instructs that evidence obtained and confiscated on the
occasion of such unreasonable searches and seizures are deemed tainted and should be excluded for
being the proverbial fruit of a poisonous tree. In other words, evidence obtained from unreasonable
searches and seizures shall be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding. On the basis
of such testimony that P03 Calag cannot identify which hand of Comerciante is holding the shabu, the
Court finds it highly implausible that P03 Calag, even assuming that he has perfect vision, would be able
to identify with reasonable accuracy - especially from a distance of around 10 meters, and while aboard a
motorcycle cruising at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour - miniscule amounts of white crystalline
substance inside two (2) very small plastic sachets held by Comerciante.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. 201363 March 18, 2013
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs.
NAZARENO VILLAREAL y LUALHATI, Accused-Appellant.
DECISION
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.:

This is an appeal from the May 25, 2011 Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR No. 31320
which affirmed in toto the December 11, 2007 Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City,
Branch 123 (RTC), convicting appellant Nazareno Villareal y Lualhati (appellant) of violation of Section 11,
Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 (RA 9165) and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment for
twelve (12) years and one (1) day to fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months and to pay a fine of
₱300,000.00.

FACTS

On December 25, 2006 at around 11:30 in the morning, as PO3 Renato de Leon (PO3 de Leon) was driving
his motorcycle on his way home along 5th Avenue, he saw appellant from a distance of about 8 to 10
meters, holding and scrutinizing in his hand a plastic sachet of shabu. Thus, PO3 de Leon, a member of
the Station Anti-Illegal Drugs-Special Operation Unit (SAID-SOU) in Caloocan City, alighted from his
motorcycle and approached the appellant whom he recognized as someone he had previously arrested
for illegal drug possession.

Upon seeing PO3 de Leon, appellant tried to escape but was quickly apprehended with the help of a
tricycle driver. Despite appellant’s attempts to resist arrest, PO3 de Leon was able to board appellant onto
his motorcycle and confiscate the plastic sachet of shabu in his possession. Thereafter, PO3 de Leon
brought appellant to the 9th Avenue Police Station to fix his handcuffs, and then they proceeded to the
SAID-SOU office where PO3 de Leon marked the seized plastic sachet with "RZL/NV 12-25-06,"
representing his and appellant’s initials and the date of the arrest.
Subsequently, PO3 de Leon turned over the marked evidence as well as the person of appellant to the
investigator, PO2 Randulfo Hipolito (PO2 Hipolito) who, in turn, executed an acknowledgment receipt and
prepared a letter request for the laboratory examination of the seized substance. PO2 Hipolito personally
delivered the request and the confiscated item to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory,
which were received by Police Senior Inspector Albert Arturo (PSI Arturo), the forensic chemist.

Upon qualitative examination, the plastic sachet, which contained 0.03 gram of white crystalline
substance, tested positive for methylamphetamine hydrochloride, a dangerous drug.
Consequently, appellant was charged with violation of Section 11, Article II of RA 9165 for illegal
possession of dangerous drugs in an Information which reads:
That on or about the 25th day of December, 2006 in Caloocan City, Metro Manila and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, without being authorized by law, did then
and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have in his possession, custody and control,
METHYLAMPHETAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE (Shabu) weighing 0.03 gram which, when subjected to
chemistry examination gave positive result of METHYLAMPHETAMIME HYDROCHLORIDE, a dangerous
drug.

ISSUE

Whether or Not the CA erred in affirming in toto the RTC’s Decision convicting appellant of the offense
charged.
RULING
Yes. The appeal is meritorious.

Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure lays down the basic rules on lawful
warrantless arrests, either by a peace officer or a private person, as follows:

Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. – A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant,
arrest a person:
(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 just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on
personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it;
and
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or
place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or
has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.

For the warrantless arrest under paragraph (a) of Section 5 to operate, two elements 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. On the other hand, paragraph (b) of Section 5 requires for its application
that at the time of the arrest, an offense had in fact just been committed and the arresting officer had
personal knowledge of facts indicating that the appellant had committed it.

Thus, while it is true that the legality of an arrest depends upon the reasonable discretion of the officer or
functionary to whom the law at the moment leaves the decision to characterize the nature of the act or
deed of the person for the urgent purpose of suspending his liberty, it cannot be arbitrarily or capriciously
exercised without unduly compromising a citizen’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to liberty.

As the Court succinctly explained in the case of People v. Tudtud:


The right of a person to be secure against any unreasonable seizure of his body and any deprivation of
his liberty is a most basic and fundamental one. The statute or rule which allows exceptions to the
requirement of warrants of arrest is strictly construed. Any exception must clearly fall within the situations
when securing a warrant would be absurd or is manifestly unnecessary as provided by the Rule. We
cannot liberally construe the rule on arrests without warrant or extend its application beyond the cases
specifically provided by law. To do so would infringe upon personal liberty and set back a basic right so
often violated and so deserving of full protection.
Consequently, there being no lawful warrantless arrest, the shabu purportedly seized from appellant is
rendered inadmissible in evidence for being the proverbial fruit of the poisonous tree. As the confiscated
shabu is the very corpus delicti of the crime charged, appellant must be acquitted and exonerated from
all criminal liability.

WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 31320 is REVERSED and SET
ASIDE. Appellant Nazareno Villareal y Lualhati is ACQUITTED on reasonable doubt of the offense charged
and ordered immediately released from detention, unless his continued confinement is warranted by
some other cause or ground.

SO ORDERED.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES


SUPREME COURT
MANILA
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. NO. 200951 SEPTEMBER 5, 2012
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE,
VS.
JOSE ALMODIEL alias "DO DONG ASTROBAL," Appellant.

DECISION
CARPIO, J.:

THE CASE

Before the Court is an appeal assailing the Decision of the Court of Appeals, Cagayan de Oro City, (CA) in
CA-G.R. CR HC No. 00632-MIN . The CA affirmed the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Butuan City,
Branch 4 (RTC), in Criminal Case No. 9840 convicting appellant Jose Almodiel alias "Dodong Astrobal"
(accused) of violation of Section 5, Article II (Sale of Dangerous Drugs) of Republic Act No. 9165 (RA
9165) or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

FACTS

Jose Almodiel was alleged to have violated the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act for the saleof shabu.

Upon arraignment, the accused entered a plea of not guilty. During pre-trial, the defenseadmitted all the
allegations in the Information except the specific place of the alleged incident andthe allegation of the
sale of dangerous drugs. Thus, trial ensued.

The accused denied the allegations during the trial and averred that he was with his girlfriend in
CadezLodging House. He further alleged that the sachets of shabu were planted to him by the police
duringthe search.The RTC found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of RA 9165.

The accused filed aMotion for Reconsideration, which was denied by the RTC in its Resolution 9 dated 22
July 2008. The accused filed an appeal to the CA but the CA affirmed the RTC’s decision. Aggrieved the
accused filed an appeal before the SC assailing the decision of the CA.

Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE

Whether or not the arrest and search of the accused without warrant would fall under the doctrine of
warrantless search as an incident to a lawful arrest.

RULING

Yes. The appeal lacks merit.

Arrest During a Buy-bust Operation

Under Section 5 (a), Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, a person may be arrested without a warrant if he "has
committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense." The accused was caught in the
act of committing an offense during a buy-bust operation. When an accused is apprehended in flagrante
delicto as a result of a buy-bust operation, the police officers are not only authorized but duty-bound to
arrest him even without a warrant. An arrest made after an entrapment operation does not require a
warrant inasmuch as it is considered a valid "warrantless arrest."

The accused argues that force and intimidation attended his arrest when four police officers arrested him
and one of them pointed a gun at him. However, his allegations were not supported by evidence. On the
contrary, the CA found that the defense neither objected to the accused’s arrest nor filed any complaint
against the police officers.
Considering that an arrest was lawfully made, the search incidental to such arrest was also valid . A person
lawfully arrested may be searched, without a search warrant, for dangerous weapons or anything which
may have been used or constitute proof in the commission of an offense. Accordingly, the two sachets of
shabu seized in the present case are admissible as evidence.

Under Section 5, Article II of RA 9165, the crime of unauthorized sale of shabu, regardless of the quantity
and purity thereof, is punishable with life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from five -hundred
thousand pesos (₱ 500,000.00) to ten million pesos (PI 0,000,000.00). Hence, the penalty of life
imprisonment and a fine of 11500,000.00 was correctly imposed by the RTC and the CA on accused Jose
Almodiel alias "Dodong Astrobal" for illegal sale of shabu.

WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the appeal. We AFFIRM the Decision dated 14 November 2011 of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. CR HC No. 00632-MIN in toto.

SO ORDERED.

JOEY M. PESTILOS, DWIGHT MACAPANAS, MIGUEL GACES, JERRY


FERNANDEZ and RONALD MUÑOZ, petitioners, vs . MORENO
GENEROSO and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
[G.R. No. 182601. November 10, 2014.]

FACTS

On February 20, 2005, at around 3: 15 in the morning, an altercation ensued between the
petitioners and Atty. Moreno Generoso. Atty. Generoso called the Central Police District, Station to report
the incident. Acting on this report, the Desk Officer dispatched policemen to go to the scene of the crime
and to render assistance. The policemen arrived at the scene of the crime less than one hour after the
alleged altercation and they saw Atty. Generoso badly beaten. Atty. Generoso then pointed to the
petitioners as those who mauled him. This prompted the police officers to "invite" the petitioners to go to
the Police Station for investigation. The petitioners went with the police officers.

At the inquest proceeding, the City Prosecutor found that the petitioners stabbed Atty. Generoso
with a bladed weapon. Atty. Generoso fortunately survived the attack. The petitioners were indicted for
attempted murder.

The petitioners filed an Urgent Motion for Regular Preliminary Investigation on the ground that
they had not been lawfully arrested. They alleged that no valid warrantless arrest took place since the
police officers had no personal knowledge that they were the perpetrators of the crime. They also claimed
that they were just "invited" to the police station. Thus, the inquest proceeding was improper, and a
regular procedure for preliminary investigation should have been performed pursuant to Rule 112 of the
Rules of Court.

RTC denied the motion. The court likewise denied the petitioners' motion for reconsideration.

The petitioners challenged the lower court's ruling before the CA on a Rule 65 petition for
certiorari. They attributed grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, on the
RTC for the denial of their motion for preliminary investigation.
CA dismissed the petition.

ISSUE

Whether or not petitioners were validly arrested without a warrant.


RULING
Yes, petitioners were validly arrested without a warrant.

For purposes of resolving the issue on the validity of the warrantless arrest of the present
petitioners, the question to be resolved is whether the requirements for a valid warrantless arrest under
Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure were complied with, namely: 1) has the
crime just been committed when they were arrested? 2) Did the arresting officer have personal
knowledge of facts and circumstances that the petitioners committed the crime? And 3) based on these
facts and circumstances that the arresting officer possessed at the time of the petitioners' arrest, would a
reasonably discreet and prudent person believe that the attempted murder of Atty. Generoso was
committed by the petitioners?

From a review of the records, we conclude that the police officers had personal knowledge of
facts or circumstances upon which they had properly determined probable cause in effecting a
warrantless arrest against the petitioners.
The arresting officers went to the scene of the crime upon the complaint of Atty. Generoso of his
alleged mauling; the police officers responded to the scene of the crime less than one (1) hour after the
alleged mauling; the alleged crime transpired in a community where Atty. Generoso and the petitioners
reside; Atty. Generoso positively identified the petitioners as those responsible for his mauling and,
notably, the petitioners and Atty. Generoso lived almost in the same neighborhood; more importantly,
when the petitioners were confronted by the arresting officers, they did not deny their participation in the
incident with Atty. Generoso, although they narrated a different version of what transpired.

With these facts and circumstances that the police officers gathered and which they have
personally observed less than one hour from the time that they have arrived at the scene of the crime
until the time of the arrest of the petitioners, we deem it reasonable to conclude that the police officers
had personal knowledge of facts or circumstances justifying the petitioners' warrantless arrests. These
circumstances were well within the police officers' observation, perception and evaluation at the time of
the arrest. These circumstances qualify as the police officers' personal observation, which are within their
personal knowledge, prompting them to make the warrantless arrests.

Personal knowledge of a crime just committed under the terms of the above-cited provision,
does not require actual presence at the scene while a crime was being committed; it is enough that
evidence of the recent commission of the crime is patent (as in this case) and the police officer has
probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances, that the person to be
arrested has recently committed the crime.

EN BANC

[G.R. NO. 127755. APRIL 14, 1999]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JOSELITO DEL ROSARIO Y PASCUAL,


ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

Accused Joselito Del Rosario was found guilty as co-principal in the crime of Robbery with Homicide and
he was sentenced to suffer the death penalty and to pay damages to the heirs of the victim.

Del Rosario alleged that he was just hired by Virgilio Santos to drive him to a cockpit. He was not aware
of the plan of Santos and his two companions to rob and kill the victim. He was not able to seek
assistance because Santos threatened to shoot him if he did. He also failed to inform the police
authorities about the incident because the culprits has threatened him and his family. He claimed
exemption from criminal liability as he allegedly acted under the compulsion of an irresistible force.

The conviction of Del Rosario must be set aside and his claim for exemption sustained. He was then
unarmed and unable to protect himself when he was prevented at gunpoint from leaving the crime scene
during the commission of the robbery and killing. He was also forced to help the culprits escape after the
commission of the crime. Further, Del Rosarios failure to disclose what he knew about the incident to the
authorities does not affect his credibility. The natural hesitance of most people to get involved in a
criminal case is of judicial notice. Given his quite limited means, Del Rosario understandably did not want
to get involved in the case so he chose to keep his silence. Besides, he was threatened with physical harm
should he squeal.

ISSUE
1. Whether or not the Miranda Rights of the accused-appellant were violated
2. Whether or not the warrantless arrest of the accused-appellant was lawful

HELD

1. YES. It was established that the accused was not apprised of his rights to remain silent and to have
competent and independent counsel in the course of the investigation. The Court held that the accused
should always be apprised of his Miranda rights from the moment he is arrested by the authorities as this
is deemed the start of custodial investigation. In fact, the Court included “invitations” by police officers in
the scope of custodial investigations.

It is evident in this case that when the police invited the accused-appellant to the station, he was already
considered as the suspect in the case. Therefore, the questions asked of him were no longer general
inquiries into an unsolved crime, but were intended to elicit information about his participation in the
crime.
However, the Miranda rights may be waived, provided that the waiver is voluntary, express, in writing and
made in the presence of counsel. Unfortunately, the prosecution failed to establish that the accused made
such a waiver.

2. NO. There are certain situations when authorities may conduct a lawful warrantless arrest:

(a) When the accused is caught in flagrante delicto


(b) When the arrest is made immediately after the crime was committed
(c) When the one to be arrested is an escape convict.

The arrest of the accused in this case did not fall in any of these exceptions. The arrest was not conducted
immediately after the consummation of the crime: rather, it was done a day after. The authorities also did
not have personal knowledge of the facts indicating that the person to be arrested had committed the
offense because they were not there when the crime was committed. They merely relied on the account
of one eye witness.

Unfortunately, although the warrantless arrest was not lawful, this did not affect the 8urisdiction of the
Court in this case because the accused still submitted to arraignment despite the illegality of his arrest. In
effect, ,he waived his right to contest the legality of the warrantless arrest.
RIGHTS VIOLATED IN CASE AT BAR

Del Rosario was deprived of his rights during custodial investigation. From the time he was invited for
questioning at the house of the barangay captain, he was already under effective custodial investigation,
but he was not apprised nor made aware thereof by the investigating officers. The police already knew
the name of the tricycle driver and the latter was already a suspect in the robbing and senseless slaying of
Virginia Bernas. Since the prosecution failed to establish that Del Rosario had waived his right to remain
silent, his verbal admissions on his participation in the crime even before his actual arrest were
inadmissible against him, as the same transgressed the safeguards provided by law and the Bill of Rights.

ARREST WITHOUT WARRANT; NOT LAWFUL IN CASE AT BAR

When a police officer sees the offense, although at a distance, or hears the disturbances created thereby,
and proceeds at once to the scene thereof, he may effect an arrest without a warrant on the basis of Sec.
5, par. (a), Rule 113, since the offense is deemed committed in his presence or within his view.

In essence, Sec. 5, par. (a), Rule 113, requires that the accused be caught in flagrante delicto or caught
immediately after the consummation of the act. The arrest of del Rosario is obviously outside the purview
of the aforequoted rule since he was arrested on the day following the commission of the robbery with
homicide. On the other hand, Sec. 5, par. (b), Rule 113, necessitates two (2) stringent requirements before
a warrantless arrest can be effected:

(1) An offense has just been committed


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

Hence, there must be a large measure of immediacy between the time the offense was committed and
the time of the arrest, and if there was an appreciable lapse of time between the arrest and the
commission of the crime, a warrant of arrest must be secured. Aside from the sense of immediacy, it is
also mandatory that the person making the arrest must have personal knowledge of certain facts
indicating that the person to be taken into custody has committed the crime. Again, the arrest of del
Rosario does not comply with these requirements since, as earlier explained, the arrest came a day after
the consummation of the crime and not immediately thereafter. As such, the crime had not been just
committed at the time the accused was arrested. Likewise, the arresting officers had no personal
knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested had committed the offense since they were
not present and were not actual eyewitnesses to the crime, and they became aware of his identity as the
driver of the getaway tricycle only during the custodial investigation.