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ATTY. GOROSPE   SEARCHES AND SEIZURES   1 CONSTI II

CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS:

Sec. 2, Art. III. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against
unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature for 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.

[T]his constitutional right [i]s the embodiment of a spiritual concept: the belief that to value the privacy of home and person and to
afford its constitutional protection against the long reach of government is no less than to value human dignity, and that his
privacy must not be disturbed except in case of overriding social need, and then only under stringent procedural safeguards
(Paper Industries Corp. of the Phil. v Asuncion).

general considerations
The right against unreasonable searches and seizures upholds one’s entitlement to privacy or freedom from unwarranted
intrusions into one’s life, and assures the right to be left alone.

The sanctity of a person’s house has always been regarded as a hallmark of all free societies. All men are entitled to be secured
in their homes. Thus, our Constitution prohibits unlawful and unreasonable searches and seizures (Art. III, Sec. 2).

General Rule: Before any searches and seizures can be had, the same must be accompanied by a warrant issued by
disinterested judge.

scope of protection

The right against unreasonable searches and seizures:


(1) available to all persons, including aliens, whether accused of crime or not. It extends also to artificial persons like
corporations1.
(2) may be invoked only by the person entitled to it, so one who is not the owner or lessee of the premises searched, or who
is not an officer of a corporation whose papers are seized, cannot challenge the validity of the search or seizure2.

requisites of a valid warrant

(1) It must be based upon probable cause


(2) The probable cause must be determined personally by the judge
(3) The determination must be made after examination under oath or affirmation of the complaint and the witnesses he
may produce
(4) The applicant and the witnesses testify on facts personally known to them
(5) It must particularly describe the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized

existence of probable cause

A finding of probable cause need not be based on clear and convincing evidence beyond reasonable doubt. Probable cause
is that which engenders [or give rise] a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and that the
respondent is probably guilty thereof and should be held for trial. It does not require that the evidence would justify
conviction (AAA v. Carbonell).

Probable cause consists of a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to
warrant a cautious man in believing accused to be committing the offense or to be guilty of the offense (Cruz, p. 289). Probable
cause implies probability of guilt and requires more than bare suspicion, but less than evidence which would justify a
conviction. A finding of probable cause merely binds over the suspect to stand trial. It is not a pronouncement of
guilt (291).

                                                                                                               
1 See Stonehill v. Diokno
2 Ibid.

Main Sources: Constitutional Law (2015 Ed.) by Isagani Cruz and Carlo Cruz, Constitutional Law (Bar Rev 2017) by Rene B. Gorospe, Platon Notes, GN & Relevant Cases
 
ATTY. GOROSPE   SEARCHES AND SEIZURES   2 CONSTI II

determination of probable cause

Determination of probable cause is to be made personally by the judge. The word “judge” is interpreted in the generic
sense and includes judges of all levels.

The judge is not required to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses. He shall personally evaluate
the reports and the supporting documents submitted by the prosecutor regarding the existence of probable cause, and on the
basis thereof, he may already make personal determination of the existence of probable cause. 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.

AAA v CARBONEL, 252 SCRA 496 (2007)


Judge Carbonell dismissed the criminal case for lack of probable cause on the ground that AAA and her witnesses failed
to take the witness stand.

SC: Personal examination is not mandatory and indispensable in the determination of probable cause for the issuance of a
warrant of arrest. What the law requires as personal determination of the judge is that he should not solely rely on the report
of the investigating prosecutor (IP), but also consider the affidavit and the documentary evidence of the parties, the counter-
affidavit of the accused and his witnesses, as well as the transcript of stenographic notes taken during the prelim
investigation, if any, submitted to the court by the IP upon the filing of the Information. Judges do not conduct a de novo
[from the beginning] hearing to determine probable cause. They just personally review the initial determination of the
prosecutor finding a probable cause to see if it is supported by substantial evidence. In the instant case, Judge Carbonell did
not take consideration the Resolutions of the prosecutors and DOJ which sustain a finding of probable cause against the
accused, and also failed to evaluate the evidence in support thereof. Finding that there is sufficient evidence to establish
probable cause, SC ruled that Judge Carbonell gravely abused his discretion in dismissing the crim case.

examination of applicant

Consistent with Sec. 2, Art. III, Rule 124, Section 4, of the Rules of Court provides that before issuing a search warrant,
the judge must personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers, in writing and under
oath the complainant and any witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them and attach to
the record their sworn statements together with any affidavits submitted.

Where the judge fails to personally examine the applicant for a search warrant and the latters witnesses, or where the witnesses
testify on matters not of their own personal knowledge, the search warrant must be struck down.

PICOP v ASUNCION, 307 SCRA 253 (1999)


SC: Declared null and void a search warrant notwithstanding the issuing judge’s claims that the court propounded
searching questions to the applicant and the witnesses in orer to determine whether there was probable cause. However,
the records proclaim otherwise. One of the two witnesses, SPO3 Cicero Bacolod, appeared during the hearing for the
issuance of the search warrant, had no personal knowledge that petitioners were not licensed to possess the subject
firearms having testified that he believed that petitioners have no license and failing to affirm that none of the firearms was
licensed. The applicant, P/Chief Insp. Pascua, on the other hand, was not asked searching questions and only introduced
the two witnesses.

The evidence offered by the complainant and his witnesses should be based on their personal knowledge
and not on mere information or belief. A finding of probable cause may be set aside and the search warrant is issued
presents clear and convincing evidence that the applicants and their witnesses “committed a deliberate falsehood or reckless
disregard of truth on matters that are essential or necessary to a showing of probable cause.

WARRANT OF ARREST SEARCH WARRANT


The judge is not required to personally The judge must personally examine in the
examine the complainant and his form of searching questions and answers, in
witnesses. They just personally review the writing and under oath the complainant and
initial determination of the prosecutor finding a any witnesses he may produce on facts
probable cause to see if it is supported by personally known to them and attach to the
substantial evidence. record their sworn statements together with any
affidavits submitted.

Main Sources: Constitutional Law (2015 Ed.) by Isagani Cruz and Carlo Cruz, Constitutional Law (Bar Rev 2017) by Rene B. Gorospe, Platon Notes, GN & Relevant Cases
 
ATTY. GOROSPE   SEARCHES AND SEIZURES   3 CONSTI II

He merely determines the probability, not the The determination of probable cause depends
certainty of guilt of the accused and, in so to a large extent upon the finding or opinion of
doing, he need not conduct a new hearing. the judge who conducted the required
examination of the applicant and the witnesses.

UNILAB v ISIP, 461 SCRA 574 (2005)


A search warrant proceeding is, in no sense, a criminal action or the commencement of a prosecution. The proceeding is not one
against any person, but is solely for the discovery and to get possession of personal property. It is a special and peculiar remedy,
drastic in nature, and made necessary because of public necessity.

A search warrant is a legal process which has been likened to a writ of discovery employed by the State to procure relevant
evidence of crime. A search warrant is a police weapon, issued under the police power. A search warrant must issue in the name
of the State, namely, the People of the Philippines.

A search warrant has no relation to a civil process. It concerns the public at large as distinguished from the ordinary civil action
involving the rights of private persons.

particularity of description

The Constitution requires that the place to be searched or the persons or things to be seized be described with such particularity
as to enable the person servng the warrant to identify them. Failure of this requirement may result in erroneous or, worse,
arbitrary enforcement of the warrant.

General Rule: A valid warrant issued upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge, must particularly describe the
place to be searched and persons or things to be seized. Otherwise, it is considered a general warrant.

The rule is that a description of a place to be searched is sufficient if the officer with the warrant can, with reasonable effort,
ascertain and identify the place intended and distinguish it from other places in the community.

A general warrant is a search or arrest warrant that is not particular as to the person to be arrested or the property to be
seized. General warrants are proscribed by both the 1987 Constitution and jurisprudence because they place the sanctity of the
domicile and the privacy of communication and correspondence at the mercy of the whims, caprice or passion of peace officers.

STONEHILL v DIOKNO, 20 SCRA 383 (1967)


SC: Declared null and void search warrants authorizing the seizure of books of accounts and records "showing all the
business transactions" of certain persons, regardless of whether the transactions were legal or illegal, as they contravene the
explicit command of the Bill of Rights that the things to be seized should be particularly described and defeat its major
objective of eliminating general warrants.

NOTE: A search warrant is not a sweeping authority empowering a raiding party to undertake a fishing expedition to seize and
confiscate any and all kinds of evidence or articles relating to a crime.

John Doe Warrants


A John Doe warrant is a warrant for the apprehension of a person whose true name is unknown. Ideally, the person sought to be
seized should be identified by name. It may happen, however, that the name could not be readily ascertained, in which event
some description sufficient to identify the person may be resorted. If the description contains enough details so that the officer
serving the warrant would have no difficulty identifying the person, then the warrant would be considered valid.

knock-and-announce rule

Knock and announce rule is a legal rule mandating the officer to first knock, identify himself or herself and his or her intent, and
wait a reasonable amount of time for the occupants to let him or her into the residence when serving a warrant. They may only
break open any outer or inner door or window of a house to execute the search warrant if, after such notice and demand, such
officers are refused entry to the place of directed search as outlined in Section 73 (formerly Section 6), Rule 126 of the Rules of
Court.

                                                                                                               
3SEC. 7. Right to break door or window to effect search.—The officer, if refused admittance to the place of directed search after giving notice of his purpose and authority, may break
open any outer or inner door or window of a house or any part of a house or anything therein to execute the warrant or liberate himself or any person lawfully aiding him when unlawfully
detained therein.

Main Sources: Constitutional Law (2015 Ed.) by Isagani Cruz and Carlo Cruz, Constitutional Law (Bar Rev 2017) by Rene B. Gorospe, Platon Notes, GN & Relevant Cases
 
ATTY. GOROSPE   SEARCHES AND SEIZURES   4 CONSTI II

Exceptional circumstances when the police officer may dispense with the same are (1) when his safety is at stake, or (2) when
there is danger of the evidence being destroyed.

PEOPLE v GO, 411 SCRA 81 (2003)


When based on the police officer’s own account, in order to enter the premises to be searched, they deliberately
side­swiped appellant’s car which was parked alongside the road, instead of following the regular “knock and announce”
procedure, Supreme Court ruled that the deliberate sideswiping of appellant’s car was unreasonable and unjustified. This is
because the police officers had not yet notified the occupant of the residence of their intention and authority to conduct a
search and absent a showing that they had any reasonable cause to believe that prior notice of service of the warrant would
endanger its successful implementation.

media ride-along

In Wilson v Layne, while executing a warrant to arrest petitioners’ son in their home, respondents, deputy federal marshals and
local sheriff’s deputies, invited a newspaper reporter and a photographer to accompany them. The warrant made no mention of
such a media “ride-along”. The reporters observed and photographed the confrontation between the officers and the petitioners,
but were not involved in the execution of the warrant.

US Supreme Court ruled in this case that bringing the media into the private home of the petitioner while executing a search
warrant, violated the Fourth Amendment rights of the latter. The Fourth Amendment requires that police actions in
execution of a warrant be related to the objectives of the authorized intrusion. However, because the state of the
law was not clearly established at the time the entry in this case took place, US SC further ruled that respondent officers are
entitled to qualified immunity.
 
inadmissibility of illegally seized evidence

FRUIT OF THE POISONOUS TREE DOCTRINE


According to this rule, once the primary source (the ‘tree’) is shown to have been unlawfully obtained, any secondary or derivative
evidence (the ‘fruit’) derived from it is also inadmissible.

Pursuant to the doctrine originally announced in Stonehill v. Diokno, [a]rticles illegally seized are not admissible as
evidence. This rule has been constitutionally affirmed in Article III, Section 3(2), which provides that such evidence “shall be
inadmissble for any purpose in any proceeding.”

A fruit of an illegal or unconstitutional act could not and should not be given any form of legitimacy by its admission in evidence.
The rationale behind this is that the source if the evidence or the evidence itself is tainted, then anything gained from it is tainted
as well.

warrantless searches
The following are the instances when a warrantless search is allowed:
(1) a warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest;
(2) search of evidence in “plain view;”"
(3) search of a moving vehicle;"
(4) consented warrantless search;
(5) customs search;"
(6) a “stop and frisk” search; and
(7) exigent and emergency circumstances

Cruz, p. 342:
Other instances when a search may be validly made notwithstanding noncompliance with the requisites mentioned earlier are:
(1) Searches of vessels and aircraft for violation of immigration, customs, and drug laws;
(2) Searches of automobiles at borders or constructive borders;
(3) Searches of buildings and premises to enforce fire, sanitary, and building regulations;
(4) At military checkpoints (on the basis of the right of the State to protect itself;
(5) Searches based on tipped information in buy-bust operations and cases;

Main Sources: Constitutional Law (2015 Ed.) by Isagani Cruz and Carlo Cruz, Constitutional Law (Bar Rev 2017) by Rene B. Gorospe, Platon Notes, GN & Relevant Cases
 
ATTY. GOROSPE   SEARCHES AND SEIZURES   5 CONSTI II

(6) Airport searches4

warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest

Searches and seizures incident to lawful arrests are governed by Section 13, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court, which reads:
SEC. 13. Search incident to lawful arrest. 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.

VALEROSO v CA, 598 SCRA 41 (2009)


Valeroso was arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest. At that time, Valeroso was sleeping. He was pulled out of the room.
The other police officers remained inside the room and ransacked the locked cabinet where they found a firearm and
ammunition.

SC: The scope of the warrantless search is not without limitations. A valid arrest allows the seizure of evidence or dangerous
weapons either on the person of the one arrested or within the area of his immediate control. The phrase within the area of
his immediate control means the area from within which he might gain possession of a weapon or destructible evidence.
The purpose of the exception is to protect the arresting officer from being harmed by the person
arrested, who might be armed with a concealed weapon, and to prevent the latter from destroying
evidence within reach. In this case, search was made in the locked cabinet which cannot be said to have been within
Valeroso's immediate control. Thus, the search exceeded the bounds of what may be considered as an incident to a lawful
arrest.

In this instance, the law requires that there first be a lawful arrest before a search can be made – the process cannot
be reversed, the search must be contemporaneous with the arrest, and the area searched is within the immediate control of the
person arrested.

plain view doctrine

Plain View Doctrine provides that objects in the ‘plain view’ of an officer who has the right to be in the position to have that view
are subject to seizure and may be presented as evidence. It is usually applied where a police officer is not searching for evidence
against the accused, but nonetheless inadvertently comes across an incriminating object.
 
UNILAB v ISIP, 461 SCRA 574 (2005)
The State must adduce evidence, testimonial or documentary, to prove the confluence of the essential requirements for the
doctrine to apply, namely:
(a) the executing law enforcement officer has a prior justification for an initial intrusion or otherwise properly in a
position from which he can view a particular order;
’ the law enforcement officer must lawfully make an initial intrusion or properly be in position from which he can
particularly view the area
(b) the officer must discover incriminating evidence inadvertently; and
’ it means that the officer must not have known in advance of the location of the evidence and intend to seize it.
Discovery is not anticipated.
(c) it must be immediately apparent to the police that the items they observe may be evidence of a crime, contraband,
or otherwise subject to seizure.
’ requires merely that the seizure be presumptively reasonable assuming that there is probable cause to associate
the property with criminal activity; that a nexus exists between a viewed object and criminal activity.

search of a moving vehicle

Highly regulated by the government, the vehicles inherent mobility reduces expectation of privacy especially when its transit in
public thoroughfares furnishes a highly reasonable suspicion amounting to probable cause that the occupant committed a
criminal activity.

CABALLES v CA, 373 SCRA 22 (2002)


On the basis of search of moving vehicle – searches without warrant of automobiles is also allowed for the purpose of preventing
violations of smuggling or immigration laws, provided such searches are made at borders or 'constructive borders' like
checkpoints near the boundary lines of the State. The mere mobility of these vehicles, however, does not give the police officers
unlimited discretion to conduct indiscriminate searches without warrants if made within the interior of the territory and in the

                                                                                                               
4 See People v Johnson  

Main Sources: Constitutional Law (2015 Ed.) by Isagani Cruz and Carlo Cruz, Constitutional Law (Bar Rev 2017) by Rene B. Gorospe, Platon Notes, GN & Relevant Cases
 
ATTY. GOROSPE   SEARCHES AND SEIZURES   6 CONSTI II

absence of probable cause.

The search which is normally permissible in this instance is limited to the following instances:
(1) where the officer merely draws aside the curtain of a vacant vehicle which is parked on the public fair grounds;
(2) simply looks into a vehicle;
(3) flashes a light therein without opening the car's doors;
(4) where the occupants are not subjected to a physical or body search;
(5) where the inspection of the vehicles is limited to a visual search or visual inspection; and
(6) where the routine check is conducted in a fixed area.

consented warrantless search

The consent must be voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal detention and search, i.e., the consent is
unequivocal, specific, and intelligently given, uncontaminated by any duress or coercion.

PEOPLE v GO, 411 SCRA 81 (2003)


While Jack Go, son of the appellant, was present from the time the raiding team entered the premises until after the
search was completed, he was, however, handcuffed to a chair in the sala. All alone and confronted by five police officers
who had deprived him of his liberty, he cannot thus be considered to have “voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently” waived his
right to witness the search of the house. “Consent” given under such intimidating, coercive circumstances is no
consent within the purview of the constitutional guaranty.

WHAT CONSTITUTE A WAIVER? It must first appear that:


(1) the right exists;
(2) that the person involved had knowledge, either actual or constructive, of the existence of such right; and
(3) the said person had an actual intention to relinquish the right.

customs search

PLATON NOTES:
Items which are imported and which are to be subjected to payment of customs duties are not considered as properly within the
territory of the taxing authority if the appropriate taxes have not yet been paid.

“Search and seizure without search warrant of vessels and air crafts for violations of the customs laws have been the traditional
exception to the constitutional requirement of a search warrant, because the vessel can be quickly moved out of the locality or
jurisdiction in which the search warrant must be sought before such warrant could be secured; hence it is not practicable to
require a search warrant before search or seizure can be constitutionally effected”

“stop and frisk” search or the Terry stop

When a police officer has a reasonable suspicion that an individual is armed, engaged, or about to be engaged,
in criminal conduct, the officer may briefly stop and detain an individual for a pat-down search of outer
clothing. This is generated from the Terry v Ohio case.

Cruz, p. 361
Even before an arrest, as held in Terry v Ohio, “when an officer is justified in believing that the individual whose suspicious
behavior he is investigating at close range is presently dangerous to the officer or to others,” he may conduct a limited protective
search for concealed weapons. The purpose of this limited search is not to discover evidence of crime but to allow the officer to
pursue his investigation without risk of violence.

exigent and emergency circumstances

Exigent circumstances are circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe that entry (or other relevant prompt
action) was necessary to prevent physical harm to the officers or other persons, the destruction of relevant evidence, the escape
of the suspect, or some other consequence improperly frustrating legitimate law enforcement efforts.

"Exigent circumstances" is category for events not falling into the other specific exceptions but nonetheless requiring immediate
action. This exception allows for a warrantless search or seizure where there is a compelling need for immediate official action

Main Sources: Constitutional Law (2015 Ed.) by Isagani Cruz and Carlo Cruz, Constitutional Law (Bar Rev 2017) by Rene B. Gorospe, Platon Notes, GN & Relevant Cases
 
ATTY. GOROSPE   SEARCHES AND SEIZURES   7 CONSTI II

and time does not permit the procurement of a warrant.

airport searches

Persons may lose the protection of the search and seizure clause by exposure of their persons or property to the public in a
manner reflecting a lack of subjective expectation of privacy, which expectation society is prepared to recognize as reasonable.
Such recognition is implicit in airport security procedures. With increased concern over airplane hijacking and terrorism has come
increased security at the nation’s airports.

Therefore, where the methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) was seized from the accused during the routine frisk at the airport
pursuant to airport security procedures, such acquisition was deemed legitimate (People v Johnson).

blood-alcohol-concentration breath test and blood-alcohol-concentration blood test

BIRCHFIELD v N. DAKOTA:
The Fourth Amendment permits warrantless breath tests incident to arrests for drunk driving but not warrantless blood tests.
Breath tests do not implicate significant privacy concerns. The physical intrusion is almost negligible. The same could not be said
about blood tests. They require “piercing the skin” and extract a part of the subject’s body, and thus are more significantly more
intrusive than blowing into a tube.

BAC Breath Test BAC Blood Test


This involve minimal physical intrusion to capture This is much more physicially invasive and they
something that is routinely exposed to the produce a sample that can be preserved and
public, reveal limited amount of information and used to obtain further information beyond the
do not enhance any embarrassment beyond subject’s blood alcohol level at the time of the
what the arrest itself causes. test.

electronic and other searches


Thermovision imaging, unlawful search
In Kyllo v US, Kyllo was arrested for growing marijuana in his home. The police came to discover the marijuana with the use of a
thermal-imaging device used to detect the heat from the high-intensity lamps used to grow the plants inside. US Supreme Court
ruled that where the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of the home that would
previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a “search” and is presumptively unreasonable
without a warrant.

Search by a government employer of an employee’s office, justified at ince ption


In the case of Pollo v Constantino-David, the search of Pollo’s computer files, which was conducted in connection with
investigation of work-related misconduct prompted by an anonymous letter-complaint addressed to Chairperson David regarding
anomalies in the CSC-ROIV where the head of the Mamamayan Muna Hindi Mamaya Na division is supposedly lawyering for
individuals with pending cases in the CSC, was declared justified at inception by the Supreme Court. A search by a government
employer of an employee’s office is justified at inception when there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that it will turn up
evidence that the employee is guilty of work-related misconduct.

GOLDEN NOTES:

Are searches conducted in checkpoints lawful?


Yes, provided the checkpoint complies with the following requisites:
(1) The establishment of checkpoint must be pronounced "
(2) It must be stationary, not roaming "
(3) The search must be limited to visual search and must not be an intrusive "search. "

Note: Not all searches and seizures are prohibited. Between the inherent right of the State to protect its existence and promote public
welfare and an individual’s right against warrantless search, which is however reasonably conducted, the former should prevail.

A checkpoint is akin to a stop‐and‐frisk situation whose object is either to determine the identity of suspicious individuals or to
maintain the status quo momentarily while the police officers seek to obtain more information. (Valmonte vs. De Villa, 178 SCRA

Main Sources: Constitutional Law (2015 Ed.) by Isagani Cruz and Carlo Cruz, Constitutional Law (Bar Rev 2017) by Rene B. Gorospe, Platon Notes, GN & Relevant Cases
 
ATTY. GOROSPE   SEARCHES AND SEIZURES   8 CONSTI II

211)

When may motorists and their vehicles passing though checkpoints be stopped and extensively searched?
While, as a rule, motorists and their vehicles passing though checkpoints may only be subjected to a routine inspection, vehicles
may be stopped and extensively searched when there is probable cause which justifies a reasonable belief among those at the
checkpoints that either the motorist is a law offender or the contents of the vehicle are or have been instruments of some offense.
(People v. Vinecario, G.R. No. 141137, Jan. 20, 2004)

warrantless arrests
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:
(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.

(a) in flagrante delicto

The arrest is justified by the very fact that the crime is committed or is about to be committed in the very presence of the person
making the arrest. In other words, the culprit is caught red-handed.

TWO REQUISITES
(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.

Buy-bust operation has been recognized in this jurisdiction as a legitimate form of entrapment. Therefore, when an accused is
apprehended in flagrante delicto as a result of a buy-bust operation, the police officers are not only authorized, but also duty-
bound to arrest him even without a warrant.

(b) hot pursuit

PESTILOS V GENEROSO, 739 SCRA 337 (2014)


This requires 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.
9 existence of "probable cause"
’ the arresting officer may rely on information supplied by a witness or a victim of a crime; and under the
circumstances, the arresting officer need not verify such information
’ the arresting officer operates on the basis of more limited facts, evidence or available information that he must
personally gather within a limited time frame.
9 The crime has just been committed
’ The reason for the element of the immediacy is this - as the time gap from the commission of the crime to the arrest
widens, the pieces of information gathered are prone to become contaminated and subjected to external factors,
interpretations and hearsay.
’ With the element of immediacy, the police officer's determination of probable cause would necessarily be limited to
raw or uncontaminated facts or circumstances, gathered as they were within a very limited period of time
9 Personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it
’ Circumstances may pertain to events or actions within the actual perception, personal evaluation or observation of
the police officer at the scene of the crime. Thus, even though the police officer has not seen someone actually
fleeing, he could still make a warrantless arrest if, based on his personal evaluation of the circumstances at the
scene of the crime, he could determine the existence of probable cause that the person sought to be arrested has
committed the crime. However, the determination of probable cause and the gathering of facts or circumstances
should be made immediately after the commission of the crime in order to comply with the element of immediacy.

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ATTY. GOROSPE   SEARCHES AND SEIZURES   9 CONSTI II

(c) escaped prisoner or detainee

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.

exclusionary rule
Courts will suppress evidence that the government obtains through unconstitutional conduct – often an unlawful
search or seizure. Suppressions means that the evidence in question will be inadmissible for most purposes in the defendant’s
eventual trial. The exclusion of evidence illegally seized is the only practical means of enforcing the constitutional injunction
against unreasonable searches and seizures. No man shall be convicted on unconstitutional evidence.

privacy interests
The essence of privacy is the “right to be let alone.” The right to privacy is the right to be free from unwarranted
exploitation of one’s person or from intrusion into one’s private activities in such a way as to cause
humiliation to a person’s ordinary sensibilities. It is the right of the individual to be free from unwarranted publicity, or to
live without unwarranted interference by the public in matters in which the public is not necessary concerned.

OPLE v TORRES, 293 SCRA 141 (1998)


The right to privacy does not bar all incursions into individual privacy. The right is not intended to stifle scientific and
technological advancements that enhance public service and the common good. It merely requires that the law be narrowly
focused and a compelling interest justify such intrusions. Intrusions into the right must be accompanied by proper safeguards
and well-defined standards to prevent unconstitutional invasions.
The right to privacy is one of the most threatened rights of man living in a mass society. In the case at bar, the threat
comes from the executive branch of government which by issuing A.O. No. 308 pressures the people to surrender their
privacy by giving information about themselves on the pretext that it will facilitate delivery of basic services. Given the record-
keeping power of the computer, only the indifferent will fail to perceive the danger that A.O. No. 308 gives the government
the power to compile a devastating dossier against unsuspecting citizens.

The right of the people to access information on matters of public concern generally prevails over the right to privacy of ordinary
financial transactions. The right to privacy is not absolute where there is an overriding compelling state interest.

writ of habeas data


Section 1 of the Habeas Data Rule provides that the writ of habeas data is a remedy available to any person whose right
to privacy in life, liberty or security is violated or threatened by an unlawful act or omission of a public
official or employee, or of a private individual or entity engaged in the gathering, collecting or storing of data
information regarding the person, family, home and correspondence of the aggrieved party.

The writ of habeas data is an independent and summary remedy designed to protect the image, privacy, honor, information, and
freedom of information of an individual, and to provide a forum to enforce one’s right to the truth and to informational privacy. It
seeks to protect a person’s right to control information regarding oneself, particularly in instances in which such information is
being collected through unlawful means in order to achieve unlawful ends. It must be emphasized that in order for the
privilege of the writ to be granted, there must exist a nexus between the right to privacy on the one hand,
and the right to life, liberty or security on the other.

VIVARES v STC, 737 SCRA 92 (2014)


The petitioners in this case were the parents of graduating high school students who were not allowed by St. Theresa’s
College to participate in their commencement rites because of, among others, their having posted online or in their “personal
FB accounts” photos depicting themselves from the waist up, dressed only in brassieres. The photos also showed them
drinking hard liquor and smoking cigarettes inside a bar and walking “along the streets of Cebu wearing articles of clothing
that virtually show the entirety of their black brassieres.” STC authorities found all of these to be violations of their rules and
accordingly banned them from particiating in their graduation rites.

Main Sources: Constitutional Law (2015 Ed.) by Isagani Cruz and Carlo Cruz, Constitutional Law (Bar Rev 2017) by Rene B. Gorospe, Platon Notes, GN & Relevant Cases
 
ATTY. GOROSPE   SEARCHES AND SEIZURES   10CONSTI II

The petitioners eventually sued for habeas data and, invoking their children’s right to privacy, asked the trial court to order
STC to surrender and deposit with the court all soft and printed copies of the subject data and, after trial, that judgment be
rendered declaring that all such data to have been illegally obtained in violation of their children’s right to privacy.

SC: Contrary to respondents’ submission, the Writ of Habeas Datawas not enacted solely for the purpose of
complementing the Writ of Amparoin cases of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances. Habeas data, to stress, was
designed "to safeguard individual freedom from abuse in the information age." As such, it is erroneous to limit its applicability
to extralegal killings and enforced disappearances only.

The provision, when taken in its proper context, as a whole, irresistibly conveys the idea that habeas data is a protection
against unlawful acts or omissions of public officials and of private individuals or entities engaged in gathering, collecting, or
storing data about the aggrieved party and his or her correspondences, or about his or her family. Such individual or entity
need not be in the business of collecting or storing data.

To "engage" in something is different from undertaking a business endeavour. To "engage" means "to do or take part in
something." It does not necessarily mean that the activity must be done in pursuit of a business. What matters is that the
person or entity must be gathering, collecting or storing said data or information about the aggrieved party or his or her
family. Whether such undertaking carries the element of regularity, as when one pursues a business, and is in the nature of a
personal endeavour, for any other reason or even for no reason at all, is immaterial and such will not prevent the writ from
getting to said person or entity.

On the issue regarding the violation of the petitioners’ daughters’ right to privacy, STC can hardly be taken to task for the
perceived privacy invasion since it was the minors’ Facebook friends who showed the pictures to Tigol, STC’s Discipline-in-
charge. Respondents were mere recipients of what were posted. They did not resort to any unlawful means of gathering the
information as it was voluntarily given to them by persons who had legitimate access to the said posts. Furthermore,
petitioners failed to prove their contention that respondents reproduced and broadcasted the photographs.

Main Sources: Constitutional Law (2015 Ed.) by Isagani Cruz and Carlo Cruz, Constitutional Law (Bar Rev 2017) by Rene B. Gorospe, Platon Notes, GN & Relevant Cases