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Republic of the Philippines

REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF LANAO DEL NORTE


12th Judicial Region
BRANCH 01
Iligan City

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,


Plaintiff,

CRIM. CASE NO. 13755


-versus- For: Violation of Section 11
Art. II of RA 9165

JUAN DELA CRUZ


Accused,:
x-------------------------------------------------x

MEMORANDUM FOR THE ACCUSED

The accused, JUAN DELA CRUZ, though the undersigned counsel, unto this
Honorable Court most respectfully submit and present this Memorandum in the
above-titled case and aver that:

FACTS OF THE CASE

The Information read as follows:

“That on or about May 1. 2008, in the City of Iligan,


Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
said accused, without authority of law, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously have in his possession, custody and
control nine (9) plastic sachet of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride
weighing more or less 10.25 grams locally known as ‘Shabu’.

CONTRARY to and in VIOLATION of Section 11 Article II of


Republic Act 9165.”

The Joint Affidavit of SP02 Diosdado L. Cabahug, SP02 Edgardo


A. Englatiera and NUP Carlito M. Ong states:
“That when we reached the place, the raiding team entered
inside the house of Juan dela Cruz at the second floor of the house
were the room occupied by the aforementioned suspects. However
Pedro dela Cruz had noticed the presence of the raiding team and
immediately he was able to sneak out at the back door of the house
and run away to elude arrest leaving behind his companion identified
as Juan dela Cruz, the owner of the house, who was at that time
doing repacking of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride or ‘Shabu’ and
we were able to recover nine (9) plastic sachet of suspected
Methamphetamine Hydrochloride or ‘Shabu’ weighing more or less
10.25grams . . . .”

ISSUES

I. WHETHER OR NOT THE SEARCH AND SEIZURE CONDUCTED BY THE


PDEA IS LEGAL;

II. WHETHER OR NOT THE SEIZED 9 NINE SACHETS OF SHABU AND OTHER
PARAPHERNALIA ARE ADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE AGAINST THE
ACCUSED.

DISCUSSION AND ARGUMENTS

I. The PDEA agents had committed an illegal search and seizure.

The right against unreasonable searches and seizures is secured by Section 2, Article
III of the Constitution. However, Law and jurisprudence have laid down the instances
when a warrantless search is valid. These are:

1. Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest recognized under Section


12 [now Section 13], Rule 126 of the Rules of Court and by prevailing
jurisprudence;

2. Seizure of evidence in "plain view," ;

3. Search of a moving vehicle. Highly regulated by the government, the


vehicle's 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;
4. Consented warrantless search;

5. Customs search;

6. Stop and Frisk; and

7. Exigent and Emergency Circumstances.

The PDEA agents had a Warrant of Arrest when they conducted their
operation. The said warrant was for a certain Felipe dela Cruz for violation of Section
5 of RA 9615 and not the accused. The first instance of a valid warrantless search
cannot be applied here because the target of the warrant is not the same person tried
in this case. It is a warrant of arrest for another person as admitted by one of the
prosecution’s witness, SP02 Diosdado Cabahug. 1

The search was illegal from the start because when they were already inside
the house of the subject of the warrant, they found out that their target was not already
there and yet they continue to search the house. 2 They should have pursued the
target of their mission first instead of continuing the illegal and unreasonable search.

Also, the PDEA committed another blunder because they had already
conducted the illegal search and upon finding drug paraphernalia on the floor of the
house that’s only the time that they frisked one the suspects they caught and found
the nine (9) sachets of ‘shabu’ in his pocket. 3 What they should have done is upon
arresting him, they should have frisked him first for illegal weapons, drugs, etc. before
conducting the search.
.
II. The evidence against the accused is inadmissible against him.

The 1987 Constitution states that a search and consequent seizure must be
carried out with a judicial warrant; otherwise, it becomes unreasonable and any
evidence obtained therefrom shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.
The search and seizure conducted by the PDEA in this case is without a valid warrant
and the admissibility of the confiscated drugs can be question on the ground that it
was the fruit of the poisonous tree,

According to Chief Justice Narvasa in the case of People vs. Alicando, December
12, 1995, “We have not only constitutionalized the Miranda warnings in our
jurisdiction. We have also adopted the libertarian exclusionary rule known as the "fruit
of the poisonous tree," a phrase minted by Mr. Justice Felix Frankfurter in the
celebrated case of Nardone v. United States. 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. Stated
otherwise, illegally seized evidence is obtained as a direct result of the illegal act,
whereas the "fruit of the poisonous tree" is the indirect result of the same illegal act.
The "fruit of the poisonous tree" is at least once removed from the illegally seized
evidence, but it is equally inadmissible. The rule is based on the principle that
evidence illegally obtained by the State should not be used to gain other evidence
because the originally illegally obtained evidence taints all evidence subsequently
obtained.”

As a consequence of the illegal search, the things seized on the occasion


thereof are inadmissible in evidence under the exclusionary rule. They are regarded
as having been obtained from a polluted source, the “fruit of a poisonous tree.”
However, the prohibited drugs seized cannot be returned to their owners
notwithstanding the illegality of their seizure. Thus, the shabu seized by the PDEA,
which cannot legally be possessed by the accused under the law, can and must be
retained by the government to be disposed of in accordance with law.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, it is respectfully prayed of this


Honorable Court that the accused be ACQUITED of the case against him.

Respectfully submitted.
Iligan City, August 24, 2012.

Counsel for the Accused


Iligan City