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PANGANDAMAN v CASAR April 14, 1988| Narvasa, J. | Arrest Digester: De Leon, Fenina

SUMMARY: Shooting incident. Atty. Batuampar filed complaint with Fiscal, who addressed indorsement to Respondent Judge. On the same day that the criminal complaint for multiple murder was filed before Judge, Judge approved complaint and issued warrants of arrest against 14 petitioners and 50 John Does. Petitioners claim that the warrant for their arrest was issued by the respondent Judge without a proper preliminary investigation. HELD: Warrants valid as to 14 petitioners, invalid as to 50 John Does. DOCTRINE: Completion of the procedure in Section 3 of Rule 112 is not a condition sine qua non for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. There is no requirement that the entire procedure for preliminary investigation must be completed before a warrant of arrest may be issued. What the Rule provides is that no complaint or information for an offense cognizable by the Regional Trial Court may be filed without completing that procedure. But nowhere is it provided that the procedure must be completed before a warrant of arrest may issue.

CRIME: Multiple Murder

ACTION: Petition lang sinabi -_-

FACTS:

A shooting incident occurred in, Masiu, Lanao del Sur, which left at least 5 persons dead and 2 others wounded. What transpired is still unclear.

Atty. Batuampar, representing the widow of a victim, filed a letter-complaint with the Provincial, asking for a "full blast preliminary investigation" of the incident.

Provincial Fiscal addressed a "1st indorsement" to the respondent Judge and requested that "all cases that may be filed relative to the incident be forwarded to his office, which "has first taken cognizance of said cases."

A criminal complaint for multiple murder was filed before the respondent Judge. On that same day, the respondent Judge approved the complaint and issued the warrants of arrest against the 14 petitioners and 50 John Does.

Atty. Batuampar filed an "ex-parte" MR, seeking recall of the warrant of arrest and holding of a "thorough investigation" because the Judge's initial investigation had been "hasty and manifestly haphazard" with "no searching questions" having been propounded.

Respondent Judge denied the motion for lack of basis

Petitioner contends, claiming Judge failed to conduct the investigation in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Section 3, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court denial to petitioners of due process

- The day Judge issued warrants of arrest was a Saturday during which MTC’s are open from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. only… it would have been impossible for Judge to determine the existence of probable cause against 64 persons whose

participations were of varying nature and degree in a matter of hours and issue the warrant of arrest in the same day undue haste and an omission to ask searching questions by the Judge who relied "mainly on the supporting affidavits

- Judge conducted the preliminary investigation of the charges in total disregard of the Provincial Fiscal who had already taken cognizance of the matter 12 days earlier and was poised to conduct his own investigation of the same;

- Issuance of a warrant of arrest against 50 "John Does" transgressed the Constitutional provision requiring that such warrants should particularly describe the persons or things to be seized

Petitioners ask this Court:

- To annul the warrant for their arrest issued by respondent Judge

- To prohibit the Judge from taking further cognizance of said criminal case

- To compel the Judge to forward the entire record of the case to the Provincial Fiscal for proper disposition.

Solicitor General agrees and recommends that their petition be granted and the warrant of arrest voided

RULING: Issuance of warrant by Judge against the 14 petitioners is valid. Warrant against 50 John Does void.

Whether preliminary investigation was completed and whether he failed to observe prescribed procedureNO. (He followed the process, di lang niya kinumpleto/tinapos)

Procedure prescribed in Section 3 of Rule 112, 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure.

- The first phase consists of an ex-parte inquiry into the sufficiency of the complaint and the affidavits and other documents offered in support thereof. It ends with the determination by the Judge either: (1) that there is no ground to continue with the inquiry, in which case he dismisses the complaint and transmits the order of dismissal, together with the records of the case, to the provincial fiscal; or (2) that the complaint and the supporting documents show sufficient cause to continue with the inquiry and this ushers in the second phase.

- This second phase is designed to give the respondent notice of the complaint, access to the complainant's evidence and an opportunity to submit counter-affidavits and supporting documents. At this stage also, the Judge may conduct a hearing and propound to the parties and their witnesses questions on matters that, in his view, need to be clarified. It ends with the Judge rendering his resolution, either for dismissal of the complaint or holding the respondent for trial, which shall be transmitted, together with the record, to the provincial fiscal for appropriate action.

- The procedure above described must be followed before the complaint or information is filed in the RTC. Failure to do so will result in a denial of due process.

Here, no information has as yet been filed with the RTC.

Preliminary investigation has not been completed, insofar as the respondent Judge is concerned, and he does not intend to undertake the second phase.

But Judge did not fail to observe the prescribed procedure. What has happened is simply that after receiving the complaint and examining the complainant's witnesses, and having come to believe, on the basis thereof, that the offenses charged had been committed, the respondent Judge issued the warrants.

Whether the Judge had the power to issue the warrant of arrest without completing the entire prescribed procedure for preliminary investigation - YES

Completion of the procedure in Section 3 of Rule 112 is not a condition sine qua non for the issuance of a warrant of arrest.

There is no requirement that the entire procedure for preliminary investigation must be completed before a warrant of arrest may be issued. What the Rule provides is that no complaint or information for an offense cognizable by the Regional Trial Court may be filed without completing that procedure. But nowhere is it provided that the procedure must be completed before a warrant of arrest may issue.

The present Section 6 of the same Rule 112 (notes) clearly authorizes the municipal trial court to order the respondent's arrest even before opening the second phase of the investigation if said court is satisfied that a probable cause exists and there is a necessity to place the respondent under immediate custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice.

Mayuga vs. Maravilla affirm the power of a justice of the peace or municipal judge conducting a preliminary investigation to order the arrest of the accused after the first stage (preliminary examination). Preliminary investigation is not for the full and exhaustive display of the parties' evidence; it is for the presentation of such evidence only as may engender well-grounded belief (probable cause) that an offense has been committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof.

RA 3838 modified the rule on arrest after preliminary examination since Mayuga, but not to abrogate the authority of the investigating judge to order such arrest, and only to prescribe the requirement that before he may do so, he must examine the witnesses to the complaint, the examination to be under oath and reduced to writing in the form of searching questions and answers.

HENCE, Judge did not act with grave abuse of discretion in issuing the warrant of arrest against petitioners without first completing the preliminary investigation in accordance with the prescribed procedure. Issuance need only await a finding of probable cause, not the completion of the entire procedure of preliminary investigation.

Whether argument that Judge had no time to determine probable cause against 64 people on a Saturday is tenable - NO

Judge positively affirmed that he had personally and closely examined under oath the 3 witnesses to the complaint 24 and that he had issued the warrant of arrest "believing that the offense thus filed had been committed."

Legal presumption that official duty has been regularly

For all that appears, Judge could have put off the 1:00 p.m. adjournment until he had finished interrogating the witnesses to his satisfaction.

Anyway, there is really nothing unusual in completing within a three-hour period the questioning of three witnesses in a preliminary examination to determine the existence of probable cause.

Whether argument that no “search questions” had been propounded is tenable – NO

Searching questions and answers" meanssuch questions as have tendency to show the commission of a crime and the perpetuator thereof.

What would be searching questions would depend on what is sought to be inquired into, such as: the nature of the offense, the date, time, and place of its commission, the possible motives for its commission; the subject, his age, education, status, financial and social circumstances, his attitude toward the investigation, social attitudes, opportunities to commit the offense; the victim, his age, status, family responsibilities, financial and social circumstances, characteristics, etc.

The points that are the subject of inquiry may differ from case to case.

The questions, therefore must to a great degree depend upon the Judge making the investigation

Court is not prepared to question the propriety of the respondent Judge's finding of probable cause or substitute its judgment for his in the matter of what questions to put to the witnesses during the preliminary examination.

Whether the fact that the Provincial Fiscal may have announced his intention of investigating the incident himself should inhibit Judge from conducting his own inquiry -- NO.

Matther was regularly brought before him and no formal complaint was filed before the Fiscal.

If Judge nonetheless chose to conduct his own investigation, nothing in the rules states or implies that he could not do so.

Whether issuance of warrant against 14 petitioners is validYES.

All 3 witnesses identified by name each of the 14 petitioners as members of the ambush group.

The Judge can hardly be faulted for finding enough cause to hold the petitioners named in the statements of 3 eyewitnesses to killings perpetrated in broad daylight.

Whether issuance of warrant against 50 John Doe’s is valid – NO.

Witnesses could not identify any.

It is of the nature of a general warrant

Clearly violative of the constitutional injunction that warrants of arrest should particularly describe the person or persons to be seized,

NOTES:

Sec. 6, Rule 112 When warrant of arrest may issue.- xxx xxx xxx (b) By the Municipal Trial Court. If the municipal trial judge conducting the preliminary investigation is satisfied after an examination in writing and under oath of the complainant and his witnesses in the form of searching question and answers, that a probable cause exists and that there is a necessity of placing the respondent under immediate custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice, he shall issue a warrant of arrest

PESTILOS v GENEROSO November 10, 2014 | Brion, J. | Arrest Digester: Chua, Gian Angelo E.

SUMMARY: An altercation ensued between Pestilos, Macapanas, Gaces, Fernandez and Munoz (petitioners) and Atty. Generoso. In an information, petitioners were indicted for attempted murder. Petitioners filed an Urgent Motion for Regular Preliminary Investigation on the ground that they had not been lawfully arrested. RTC issued an Order denying petitioners’ motion. CA affirmed. SC held that there was a valid warrantless arrest. DOCTRINE: Personal knowledge of a crime just committed under Section 5(b), Rule 114, 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.

CRIME: Attempted Murder

ACTION: Rule 45 - Petition for Review on Certiorari.

FACTS:

An altercation ensued between Pestilos, Macapanas, Gaces, Fernandez and Munoz (petitioners) and Atty. Generoso.

Atty. Generoso called the Batasan Hills Police Station to report the incident. When SPO2 Javier arrived at the scene, he saw Atty. Generoso badly beaten.

Atty. Generoso pointed to petitioners and this prompted SPO2 Javier to “invite” the petitioners to go to the Batasan Hills Police Station for investigation.

In an information, petitioners were indicted for attempted murder.

RTC:

Petitioners filed an Urgent Motion for Regular Preliminary Investigation on the ground that they had not been lawfully arrested. Petitioners argued:

o No valid warrantless arrest took place since police officers had no personal knowledge that they were perpetrators of the crime. They were only “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.

RTC issued an Order denying petitioners’ motion.

Petitioners filed a MFR.

RTC denied MFR.

CA:

Petitioners filed a Petition for Certiorari (Rule 65) before the CA alleging grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the RTC for denying their Motion for Preliminary Investigation.

CA issued its decision dismissing the petition for lack of merit:

o

The word “invited” in the Affidavit of Arrest of SPO2 Javier carried the meaning of a command.

o

Arresting officer clearly meant to arrest petitioners.

o

Arrest was pursuant to a valid warrantless arrest so that an inquest proceeding was called for as a consequence.

RULING: Petition granted.

Whether a valid warrantless arrest took place YES.

Provision: xxx (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; xxx

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.

o

Police blotter stated that the crime was committed at 3:15AM

o

Time of entry of the complaint in the police blotter was 4:15AM

o

This connotes that the arrest took place less than 1 hour from the occurrence of the crime

To summarize the facts again, 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 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.

o

With these facts and circumstances that the police officers gathered and which they have personally observed less than 1 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.

o

These circumstances qualify as the police officers’ personal observation, which are within their personal knowledge, prompting them to make the warrantless arrests.

Moreover, records show that soon after the report of the incident occurred, SPOl Monsalve immediately dispatched the arresting officer, SP02 Javier, to render personal assistance to the victim.

o This fact alone negates the petitioners’ argument that the police officers did not have personal knowledge that a crime had been

committed - the police immediately responded and had personal knowledge that a crime had been committed.

To reiterate, personal knowledge of a crime just committed under Section 5(b), Rule 114, 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.

Re: “invited” and discussion on “arrest”

Notwithstanding the term “invited” in the Affidavit of Arrest, SP02 Javier could not but have the intention of arresting the petitioners following Atty. Generoso’s account.

SP02 Javier did not need to apply violent physical restraint when a simple directive to the petitioners to follow him to the police station would produce a similar effect.

The application of actual force would only be an alternative if the petitioners had exhibited resistance.

Arrest is defined as the taking of a person into custody in order that he may be bound to answer for the commission of an offense.

An arrest is made by an actual restraint of the person to be arrested, or by his submission to the custody of the person making the arrest.

Thus, application of actual force, manual touching of the body, physical restraint or a formal declaration of arrest is not required.

It is enough that there be an intention on the part of one of the parties to arrest the other and the intent of the other to submit, under the belief and impression that submission necessary.

Whether the RTC’s order denying the motion for preliminary investigation is valid YES.

No less than the Constitution itself provides that it is the decision that should state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. In resolving a motion, the court is only required to state clearly and distinctly the reasons therefor.

Hence, we uphold the validity of the RTC’s order as it correctly stated the reason for its denial of the petitioners’ Urgent Motion for Regular Preliminary Investigation.

NOTES: I think you can skip the history portion, but nonetheless I placed it here just in case. I think the important part here is the discussion on the elements of a valid warrantless arrest under Section 5(b), Rule 114 and the conclusion.

(NOT SO) BRIEF HISTORY ON WARRANTLESS ARRESTS

Because Justice Brion feels like writing an unnecessarily long case.

Because Justice Brion feels like being a historian.

Organic Laws

The organic laws of the Philippines, specifically, the Philippine Bill of 1902, and the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions all protect the right of the people to be secure in their persons against unreasonable searches and seizures. Arrest falls under the term seizure.

This constitutional mandate is identical with the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States which traces its origins to the writings of Sir Edward Coke and The Great Charter of the Liberties of England (Magna Carta Libertatum).

United States v. Snyder - the United States Supreme Court held that this constitutional provision does not prohibit arrests, searches and seizures without judicial warrant, but only those that are unreasonable.

In our jurisdiction, early rulings of the Court have acknowledged the validity of warrantless arrests.

o

United States v. Wilson - Section 37 of Act No. 183, or the Charter of Manila, defined the arresting officer’s power to arrest without a warrant, at least insofar as the City of Manila was concerned.

o

United States v. Vallejo, et al. - in the absence of any provisions under statutes or local ordinances, a police officer who held similar functions as those of the officers established under the common law of England and America, also had the power to arrest without a warrant in the Philippines.

o

United States v. Santos the rules on warrantless arrest were based on common sense and reason. Court further held that warrantless arrest found support under the then Administrative Code which directed municipal policemen to exercise vigilance in the prevention of public offenses.

o

United States v. Fortaleza - the Court applied Rules 27, 28, 29 and 30 of the Provisional Law for the Application of the Penal Code which were provisions taken from the Spanish Law.

These rules were subsequently established and incorporated in our Rules of Court. Presently, the requirements of a warrantless arrest are now summarized in Rule 113, Section 5 (see Codal).

A warrantless arrest under the circumstances contemplated under Section 5(a) above has been denominated as one “in flagrante delicto,” while that under Section 5(b) has been described as a “hot pursuit” arrest.

Note: For purposes of this case, we shall focus on Section 5(b) since it is the provision applicable in the present case.

EVOLUTION OF SECTION 5(B), RULE 113

Prior to the 1940 Rules of Court

Prior to the 1940 Rules of Court, it was not necessary for the arresting officer to first have knowledge that a crime was actually committed. What was necessary was the presence of reasonably sufficient grounds to believe the existence of an act

having the characteristics of a crime; and that the same grounds exist to believe that the person sought to be detained participated in it.

In addition, it was also established that the phrase reasonable suspicionwas tantamount to probable cause without which, the warrantless arrest would be invalid and the arresting officer may be held liable for its breach.

The gauge for a valid warrantless arrest was the arresting officer’s reasonable suspicion (probable cause) that a crime was committed and the person sought to be arrested has participated in its commission.

This principle left so much discretion and leeway on the part of the arresting officer. However, the 1940 Rules of Court has limited this discretion.

Under the 1940 and 1964 Rules of Court

Provision: xxx (b) When an offense has in fact been committed, and he has reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed it; xxx

Under the 1940 and the 1964 Rules of Court, the Rules required that there should be actual commission of an offense, thus, removing the element of the arresting officer’s “reasonable suspicion of the commission of an offense.”

Additionally, the determination of probable cause, or reasonable suspicion, was limited only to the determination of whether the person to be arrested has committed the offense.

1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure

Provision: xxx (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; xxx

Rules of Criminal Procedure retained the restrictions introduced under the

1985

1964

Rules of Court. More importantly, however, it added a qualification that the

commission of the offense should not only have been “committed” but should have been “just committed.” This limited the arresting officer’s time frame for conducting an investigation for purposes of gathering information indicating that the person sought to be arrested has committed the crime.

Present Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure

Provision: xxx (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; xxx

1985

Rules of Criminal Procedure was further amended with the incorporation of

the word “probable cause” as the basis of the arresting officer's determination on

whether the person to be arrested has committed the crime.

From the current phraseology of the rules on warrantless arrest, it appears that for purposes of Section 5(b), the following are the notable changes:

o

First, the contemplated offense was qualified by the word “just,” connoting immediacy; and

o

Second, the warrantless arrest of a person sought to be arrested should be based on probable cause to be determined by the arresting

officer based on his personal knowledge of facts and circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it.

It is clear that the present rules have “objectified” the previously subjective determination of the arresting officer as to the (1) commission of the crime; and (2) whether the person sought to be arrested committed the crime.

o These changes were adopted to minimize arrests based on mere suspicion or hearsay.

ELEMENTS OF SECTION 5(B), RULE 113

As presently worded, the elements under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure are:

First Element: Probable Cause

The existence of “probable cause” is now the “objectifier” or the determinant on how the arresting officer shall proceed on the facts and circumstances, within his personal knowledge, for purposes of determining whether the person to be arrested has committed the crime.

A) US jurisprudence on probable cause in warrantless arrests

Henry v. United States - the Fourth Amendment limited the circumstances under which warrantless arrests may be made. The necessary inquiry is not whether there was a warrant or whether there was time to get one, but whether at the time of the arrest probable cause existed. The term probable cause is synonymous to “reasonable cause” and “reasonable grounds.

o

In determining the existence of probable cause, the arresting officer should make a thorough investigation and exercise reasonable judgment. The standards for evaluating the factual basis supporting a probable cause assessment are not less stringent in warrantless arrest situation than in a case where a warrant is sought from a judicial officer. The probable cause determination of a warrantless arrest is based on information that the arresting officer possesses at the time of the arrest and not on the information acquired later.

o

In evaluating probable cause, probability and not certainty is the determinant of reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment. Probable cause involves probabilities similar to the factual and practical questions of everyday life upon which reasonable and prudent persons act. It is a pragmatic question to be determined in each case in of the particular circumstances and the particular offense involved.

o

In determining probable cause, the arresting officer may rely on all the information in his possession, his fair inferences therefrom, including his observations. Mere suspicion does not meet the requirements of showing probable cause to arrest without warrant especially if it is a mere general suspicion. Probable cause may rest on reasonably trustworthy information as well as personal knowledge. Thus, 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.

B) PH jurisprudence on probable cause in warrantless arrests

Abelita III v. Doria et al. - the Court held that 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.

C) Probable cause under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, distinguished from probable cause in preliminary investigations and the judicial proceeding for the issuance of a warrant of arrest

The purpose of a preliminary investigation is to determine whether a crime has been committed and whether there is probable cause to believe that the accused is guilty of the crime and should be held for trial.

o

Buchanan v. Viuda de Esteban - defined probable cause as the existence of facts and circumstances as would excite the belief in a reasonable mind, acting on the facts within the knowledge of the prosecutor, that the person charged was guilty of the crime for which he was prosecuted.

o

In this particular proceeding, the finding of the existence of probable cause as to the guilt of the respondent was based on the submitted documents of the complainant, the respondent and his witnesses.

On the other hand, probable cause in judicial proceedings for the issuance of a warrant of arrest is 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.

o Hence, before a warrant of arrest, the judge must be satisfied that based on the evidence submitted, there is sufficient proof that a crime has been committed and that the person to be arrested is probably guilty thereof. At this stage of the criminal proceeding, the judge is not yet tasked to review in detail the evidence submitted during the preliminary investigation. It is sufficient that he personally evaluates the evidence in determining probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest.

In contrast, the arresting officer’s determination of probable cause under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure is based on his personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person

sought to be arrested has committed the crime. These facts or circumstances pertain to actual facts or raw evidence, 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.

o The probable cause to justify warrantless arrest ordinarily signifies a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man to believe that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged, or an actual belief or reasonable ground of suspicion, based on actual facts.

It is clear therefore that the standard for determining “probable cause” is invariable for the officer arresting without a warrant, the public prosecutor, and the judge issuing a warrant of arrest.

o It is 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 or held for trial, as the case may be.

However, while the arresting officer, the public prosecutor and the judge all

determine “probable cause,” within the spheres of their respective functions, its existence is influenced heavily by the available facts and circumstance within their possession.

o In short, although these officers use the same standard of a reasonable man, they possess dissimilar quantity of facts or circumstances, as set by the rules, upon which they must determine probable cause.

Thus, under the present rules and jurisprudence, the arresting officer should base his determination of probable cause on his personal knowledge of facts and circumstances that the person sought to be arrested has committed the crime; the public prosecutor and the judge must base their determination on the evidence submitted by the parties.

o

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.

o

Santos - 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.

Second And Third Element: The Crime Has Just Been Committed/Personal Knowledge Of The Facts Or Circumstances That The Person To Be Arrested Has Committed It

Discussed together since these are usually taken together in the Court’s determination in the validity of the warrantless arrests under Section 5(b), Rule 113

Posadas v. Ombudsman - NBI attempted to arrest Taparan and Narag 3 days after the commission of the crime. With this set of facts, it cannot be said that the officers

have personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the persons sought to be arrested committed the crime. Hence, the Court invalidated the warrantless arrest.

People v. Burgos - the arrest was invalid considering that the only information that the police officers had in effecting the arrest was the information from a third person.

People v. del Rosario - the requirement that an offense has just been committed means that there must be a large measure of immediacy between the time the offense was committed and the time of the arrest. If there was an appreciable lapse of time between the arrest and the commission of the crime, a warrant of arrest must be secured.

8 more cases were cited.

Based on these discussions, it appears that the Court's appreciation of the elements that the offense has just been committed” and personal knowledge of facts and circumstances that the person to be arrested committed it” depended on the particular circumstances of the case.

However, we note that the element of personal knowledge offacts or circumstances” under Section S(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure requires clarification.

o

The phrase covers facts or, in the alternative, circumstances.

According to the Black's Law Dictionary “circumstances are attendant or accompanying facts, events or conditions.”

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.

o

The clincher in the element of “'personal knowledge of facts or circumstances” is the required element of immediacy within which these facts or circumstances should be gathered.

This required time element acts as a safeguard to ensure that the police officers have gathered the facts or perceived the circumstances within a very limited time frame.

This guarantees that the police officers would have no time to base their probable cause finding on facts or circumstances obtained after an exhaustive investigation.

Reason: 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.

Result of immediacy requirement: 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.

CONCLUSION

Requirements For A Valid Warrantless Arrest

We hold that the following must be present for a valid warrantless arrest under Section 5(b), Rule 113:

1. The crime should have been just committed; and

2. The arresting officer’s exercise of discretion is limited by the

standard of probable cause to be determined from the facts and circumstances within his personal knowledge.

The requirement of the existence of probable cause objectifies the reasonableness of the warrantless arrest for purposes of compliance with the Constitutional mandate against unreasonable arrests.

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 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?

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 crime was committed by the accused?

PEOPLE v. RACHO August 3, 2010 | Nachura, J. | Arrest Digester: Chan, Ysabelle

SUMMARY: Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. DOCTRINE: It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged.

CRIME: Violation of Section 5 and Section 11 of RA 9165

ACTION: It was not stated

FACTS:

A confidential agent of the police transacted through cellphone with appellant Jack Racho for the purchase of shabu. The agent later reported the transaction to the police authorities who immediately formed a team composed of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency members, the Intelligence group of the Philippine Army and the local police force

o He gave the police the appellant’s name, together with his physical description. He also assured them that appellant would arrive in Baler, Aurora the following day.

Racho called up the agent and informed him that he was on board a Genesis bus and would arrive anytime of the day in Baler wearing a red and white striped shirt.

The team members posted themselves along the national highway

3:00 pm: Racho alighted from the bus and the agent pointed to him as the person he transacted with earlier. The team approached him and invited him to the police station on suspicion of carrying shabu. Racho denied the accusation but as he pulled out his hands from his pants’ pocket, a white envelope slipped therefrom which, when opened, yielded a small sachet containing the suspected drug

Racho was charged in two separate informations: one for violation of Section 5 of R.A. 9165, for transporting or delivering; and the second, of Section 11 of the same law for possessing, dangerous drugs

Racho pleaded not guilty to both charges

RTC

Accused: denied liability and claimed that he went to Baler, Aurora to visit his brother to inform him about their ailing father. He maintained that the charges against him were false and that no shabu was taken from him. As to the circumstances of his arrest, he explained that the police officers, through their van, blocked the tricycle he was riding in; forced him to alight; brought him to Sea

Breeze Lodge; stripped his clothes and underwear; then brought him to the police station for investigation

RTC ruling: convicted appellant of Violation of Section 5, Article II, R.A. 9165 and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and to pay a fine of P500,000.00; but acquitted him of the charge of Violation of Section 11, Article II, R.A. 9165

CA:

CA ruling: RTC ruling affirmed

RULING: CA Decision Set Aside. Appellant is acquitted

Whether Racho’s arrest was valid– YES.

Racho: Prosecution failed to establish the identity of the confiscated drug because of the team’s failure to mark the specimen immediately after seizure. Also, the credibility of the witnesses for the prosecution is questionable.

It is noteworthy that although the circumstances of his arrest were briefly discussed by the RTC, the validity of the arrest and search and the admissibility of the evidence against appellant were not squarely raised by the latter and thus, were not ruled upon by the trial and appellate courts.

The records show that appellant never objected to the irregularity of his arrest before his arraignment. In fact, this is the first time that he raises the issue. Considering this lapse, coupled with his active participation in the trial of the case, Racho, having voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court, is deemed to have waived his right to question the validity of his arrest, thus curing whatever defect may have attended his arrest.

Therefore, appellant can no longer question the validity of his arrest

The legality of the arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over his person. Appellant’s warrantless arrest therefore cannot, in itself, be the basis of his acquittal.

Whether the sachet of shabu seized from him is admissible NO.

The sachet of shabu seized from him during the warrantless search is inadmissible in evidence against him.

SAN AGUSTIN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES August 31, 2004 | Callejo, J. | Remedies of Accused if there is No Preliminary Investigation Digester: de Vera, Clarissa

SUMMARY:the wife of the victim Ricardo Tan executed a notarized criminal complaint against petitioner with the NBI. This was transmitted to the DOJ. Upon the issuance of the subpoena, to which he complied, he was arrested. An information for serious illegal detention was filed against him and he was subjected to an inquest investigation, thus he filed for a motion to quash on the ground that he was deprived of his right to preliminary investigation. DOCTRINE: Whether or not there is a need for a preliminary investigation under Section 1 in relation to Section 9 of Rule 112 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure depends upon the imposable penalty for the crime charged in the complaint filed with the City or Provincial Prosecutors Office and not upon the imposable penalty for the crime found to have been committed by the respondent after a preliminary investigation.

CRIME: Illegal Detention

ACTION: Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45

FACTS:

Victim Ricardo Tan was mistaken as snatcher by two tricycle drivers while he was selling kitchen utensils together with Antonio Geronimo, along the highway of La Huerta, Paranaque City.

Tan was then turned over to Ernesto Agustin. The witness, Geronimo, saw that Tan was beaten and locked up at the Barangay jail, thus, he decided to inform Luz Tan, the wife of the victim. She inquired on the whereabouts of the victim, but she was told by the people in the Barangay Hall that they have not seen him.

Luz Tan then executed a notarized criminal complaint and filed the same with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), charging San Agustin, the Barangay Chairman, with serious illegal detention

The NBI issued a subpoena against San Agustin to which he complied. However, he was then subjected to arrest and was prevented from going back home.

The NBI transmitted it findings to the DOJ. State Prosecutor Berdal conducted an inquest investigation finding probable cause against San Agustin for serious illegal detention

On June 28, 2002, the information was filed before the RTC charging him with kidnapping/serious illegal detention with no bail recommended

RTC

Action: San Agustin filed a Motion to Quash the Information

Accused: he alleged that he was illegally arrested and subjected to an inquest investigation, thus, he was deprived of his right to a preliminary investigation; that

since he was a barangay chairman, he should only be charged with arbitrary detention, for which the penalty is reclusion temporal as the most severe

Prosecution: opposed the motion to quash on the ground that when he detained Tan, he acted in his private capacity and not as a barangay chairman

RTC ruling: The RTC issued an Order directing the City Prosecutor to conduct a reinvestigation within a non-extendible period of 45 days. This was opposed by San Agustin, contending that the prosecutor should conduct a regular preliminary investigation since the inquest investigation was void.

Petition for Certiorari was filed before the CA

RTC

The Assistant City Prosecutor filed with the trial court a Motion to Withdraw Information, which the RTC granted

MeTC

An Information was filed charging the petitioner with arbitrary detention

CA:

Action: Petition for certiorari

CA ruling: the CA denied due course and dismissed the petition for certiorari of the petitioner. The CA ruled that:

o

The petitioner was unlawfully arrested, thus he was entitled to preliminary investigation and release from detention subject to his appearance during the preliminary investigation

o

Petitioner was already granted a reinvestigation after which the information filed with the RTC was withdrawn

o

The petition has been mooted by the withdrawal of the information from the RTC and the filing of another Information in the MeTC for arbitrary detention

o

Even if the reinvestigation conducted is defective, the information filed with the MeTC is valid because there is no need for a preliminary investigation for crimes cognizable by the MeTC

RULING: Petition is partially granted

Whether petitioner was unlawfully arrested -- YES

The warrantless arrest of the accused does not fall under any of the exceptions provided in Section 5, Rule 113, Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure:

o

When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense

o

When an offense has 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

o When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another

None of the arresting officers had any personal knowledge of facts indicating that petitioner was the person to whom the custody of the victim was turned over and who locked up the latter in the Barangay jail

Whether petitioner is entitled to a preliminary investigationYES.

The inquest investigation conducted was void because under Rule 112, Section 7 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, an inquest investigation is proper only when the suspect is lawfully arrested without a warrant

The absence of preliminary investigation does not affect the jurisdiction of the trial court but merely the regularity of the proceedings

Since the crime charged under the Information filed with the MeTC was arbitrary detention under Article 124 par.1 of the RPC punishable by arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correcional in its minimum period.

Whether or not there is a need for a preliminary investigation under Section 1 in relation to Section 9 of Rule 112 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure depends upon the imposable penalty for the crime charged in the complaint filed with the City or Provincial Prosecutors Office and not upon the imposable penalty for the crime found to have been committed by the respondent after a preliminary investigation.

In this case, the crime charged in the complaint of the NBI filed in the Department of Justice was kidnapping/serious illegal detention, the imposable penalty for which is reclusion perpetua to death

PEOPLE v Rolando “Botong” Delos Reyes and Raymundo “Mac-Mac” Reyes August 31, 2011 | Leonardo De Castro, J. | Arrest without warrant, when lawful Digester: Castro, Rachel Ann

SUMMARY: Botong and Mac-Mac were arrested along with E. de Claro allegedly for being part of an illegal drugs transaction. The RTC convicted them of violation of Dangerous Drugs Act but subsequently, RTC acquitted E. de Claro upon motions for reconsideration. CA affirmed the decision of the RTC as to conviction of Botong and Mac-Mac. The Court reversed the decision because there was no justification for arrest in flagrante delicto. DOCTRINE: The Rules of Court recognizes permissible warrantless arrests according to Rule 113 of the Rules of Court.

CRIME: Violation of Section 21 of Article IV, in relation to Section 16 of Article III, of Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 (reclusion perpetua)

ACTION: Case elevated to the Supreme Court for FINAL REVIEW

FACTS:

Accused-appellants Rolando S. delos Reyes and Raymundo G. Reyes, Emmanuel de Claro, and Mary Jane Lantion-Tom (Lantion-Tom) were all arrested for illegal possession, sale, delivery, distribution, and/or transportation of a total of 980.9 grams of shabu.

Office of the City Prosecutor of Mandaluyong found probable cause and conducted preliminary investigation.

On March 27, 2000, accused-appellants moved for reinvestigation which RTC granted. Office of the City Prosecutor issued a Resolution dated April 3, 2000, recommending that the RTC proceed with the indictment of accused-appellant Reyes and Emmanuel de Claro, and dismiss the charges against accused-appellant Rolando delos Reyes and Lantion-Tom since the arresting police officers failed to refute delos Reyes’ counter-allegation that he was not arrested at Shanri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong but was actually illegally arrested without warrant in at Buenas Market. On the other hand, Lantion-Tom was only in the company of respondents without showing of any act that she was part of the illegal transaction. However, he considered that the conflicting statements of Emmanuel de Claro and the arresting officers would be best resolved in trial.

o Arresting officers’ Joint Affidavit of Arrest: Through the help of a confidential informant who called to say that an illegal transaction will ensue between Botong and Mac-Mac in the parking area of Shangri-La Plaza, they planned a bust. Arresting officers accosted the accused/respondents in the vicinity of Whistlestop Bar and Restaurant in Mandaluyong who according to the arresting officers admitted having in their possession illegal drugs; that the recovered items containing ten (10) pieces of heat sealed transparent plastic

bags of white crystalline substance with a total weight of 980.9 grams turned positive to the test for shabu.

o

Accused/respondent delos Reyes claims that on 17 February 2000, he went to Buenas Market, Manggahan, Pasig City [weird because he eventually kept saying Buenas Market was in Cainta, Rizal], together with a neighbor, one Marlon David, to talk to Reyes who was to pay his indebtedness; that while looking for a parking space, several men with firearms suddenly appeared; that he and Marlon David were forced out of their vehicle with one of the armed men bringing out a plastic shopping bag of Shoe Mart, asking where the said bag allegedly containing shabu came from; that he and Marlon David were blindfolded when forcibly taken to the groups vehicle and continuously asked who the source of the shabu was. (David was eventually released.) To confirm that he was arrested NOT in the vicinity of Whistlestop Bar and Restaurant, he presented a certified true photocopy of barangay blotter of Brgy. Manggahan, Pasig City filed by his wife as to his alleged disappearance after several men accosted him.

o

The de Claros (with Lantion-Tom, common-law spouse of Emmanuel de Claro) said that they were in Whistle Stop Bar to meet the accountant of Lantion-Tom when men suddenly appeared and accosted them, made them go inside a car to admit that they owned the shabu in the plastic bag after they were blindfolded. They were all brought to a police station and their pleas for counsel went unheeded.

Prosecution moved for leave of court to file amended information.

RTC denied said motion stating that probable cause exists against Reyes, de Claro and delos Reyes also.

TRIAL ENSUED.

RTC

Prosecution’s pieces of evidence: Joint Affidavit of Arrest dated February 18, 2000 signed by SPO1 Lectura, PO3 Santiago, PO3 Corbe, PO3 Arcancia, PO3 Dela Cruz and PO3 Javier; the Sketch prepared in open court by SPO1 Lectura; the 10 heat-sealed plastic sachets recovered from the possession of accused-appellants; the PNP-RMG Request for Laboratory Examination of the contents of the 10 heat- sealed plastic sachets; the PNP Crime Laboratory Physical Sciences Report No. D- 097-2000 dated February 18, 2000 which revealed that the contents of the 10 heat- sealed plastic sachets positively tested for methamphetamine hydrochloride; and the Letter (Referral of the case (probably for inquest) to the Office of the City Prosecutor) dated February 18, 2000.

Defendants presented the testimonies of delos Reyes, E. de Claro, R. de Claro and David (nephew of delos Reyes).

Decision: WHEREFORE, the prosecution having successfully proved the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt for unlawfully possessing/selling, delivering, transporting and distributing methamphetamine hydrochloride otherwise known as

shabu, a regulated drug, without lawful authority in violation of Sections 15 and 16 of Article III in relation to Section 21 of Article IV of R.A. No. 6425, as amended, they are hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of LIFE IMPRISONMENT and to pay a fine of P20,000.00 each and the costs of suit. Further, all the methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) taken and seized from the accused during the aforesaid operation are forfeited and confiscated in favor of the government shall be turned over to the PDEA pursuant to law for proper disposal without delay.

E. de Claro: filed notice of appeal but soon withdrew said notice of appeal and filed an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and to Re-Open Proceedings (Rule 119, Section 24(b) of Rules of Court) and, subsequently, a Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration before the RTC.

o

RTC granted said motion to withdraw his notice of appeal and required prosecution to Comment. Prosecution’s Comment stated their objections to said motions. WHEREFORE, the motion of accused-movant Emmanuel De Claro is hereby GRANTED and a new one entered, ACQUITTING him of the crime charged. Consequently, his immediate release from detention is hereby ordered unless he is detained for other cause or causes.” – admitted that they erred in giving full faith and credit to prosecution witnesses’ testimonies

Delos Reyes and Reyes: each filed his notice of appeal

o

In view of pending notice of appeal, the RTC forwarded the complete records of the case to us on March 29, 2004, and the Court gave due course to the said appeals in a Resolution dated June 21, 2004. After each appellant’s filing of Appellant’s Brief, the Court transferred the case to the Court of Appeals for appropriate action and disposition.

CA:

Sustained the conviction of accused-appellants, and merely modified the penalty imposed upon them, from life imprisonment to reclusion perpetua. According to the appellate court, the police officers testimonies deserve credence than accused- appellants defenses of denial and alibi, there being no evidence to rebut the presumption that the police officers regularly performed their official duties.

RULING: WHEREFORE, the Decision dated July 12, 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No. 01733 is hereby REVERSEDand SET ASIDE. Accused- appellants Rolando delos Reyes and Raymundo Reyes are ACQUITTED on the ground of reasonable doubt and they are ORDERED forthwith released from custody, unless they are being lawfully held for another crime. SO ORDERED.

Whether the warrantless arrest was illegal -

People: accused-appellants were caught while in the commission of a crime or in flagrante delicto, which justifies their warrantless arrests under Section 5(a), Rule 113 of the Rules of Court.

The prosecutors and the RTC both displayed uncertainty as to the facts surrounding accused-appellants arrest on the night of February 17, 2000.

o

The Office of the City Prosecutor of Mandaluyong City, after preliminary investigation and reinvestigation, recommended that the RTC drop accused-appellant Rolando delos Reyes and Lantion-Tom from the criminal charge. The RTC only partially adopted the recommendations of the Office of the City Prosecutor: dropping the criminal charge against Lantion-Tom, but still finding probable cause against accused-appellant delos Reyes.

o

The RTC wavered in its findings and conclusion: subsequent acquittal of E. de Claro.

o

The Court of Appeals, on appeal, refused to consider the subsequent acquittal of Emmanuel de Claro by the RTC. Instead, the CA upheld the earlier ruling of the RTC giving absolute credence to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses and convicted accused- appellants of the crime charged. Despite the varying judgments of the RTC, the CA speciously ratiocinated in its assailed decision that when the issue involves the credibility of a witness, the trial courts assessment is entitled to great weight.

Settled rule: Where the inculpatory facts admit of several interpretations, one consistent with accused's innocence and another with his guilt, the evidence thus adduced failed to meet the test of moral certainty. Thus, the Court finds that the RTC’s subsequent decision is more in keeping with evidence on record in this case. If the evidence is insufficient to convict the former, then it is also insufficient to convict the latter.

The testimonies of prosecution witnesses SPO1 Lectura, PO3 Santiago, and PO3 Yumul are unreliable and suspiciously fabricated. In contrast, accused-appellants presented clear and convincing evidence in support of their defenses, which the prosecution failed to rebut. Even assuming that the prosecution’s version of events did happen, it still failed to establish probable cause to justify the in flagrante delicto arrests of accused-appellants and search of accused-appellants persons, incidental to their arrests, resulting in the seizure of the shabu in accused-appellants possession.

Search and seizure may be made without a warrant and the evidence obtained therefrom may be admissible during a search incident to a lawful arrest. The Rules of Court recognizes permissible warrantless arrests. A peace officer or a private person may, without 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 (arrest in flagrante delicto);

(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 (arrest effected in hot pursuit); and

(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal

establishment or a 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 (arrest of escaped prisoners).

In People v Molina: As applied to in flagrante delicto arrests, it is settled that "reliable information" alone, absent any overt act indicative of a felonious enterprise in the presence and within the view of the arresting officers, are not sufficient to constitute probable cause that would justify an in flagrante delicto arrest. To constitute a valid in flagrante delicto arrest, 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.

There is a dearth of evidence in this case to justify the in flagrante delicto arrests of accused-appellants and search of their persons incidental to the arrests. Without any other independent information (aside from a confidential informant’s call), and by simply seeing the suspects pass from one to another a white plastic bag with a box or carton inside, the police team was already able to conclude that the box contained shabu and sensed that an illegal drug deal took place. There was no evidence they tried to ascertain if the contents of the box in the plastic bag would be shabu and the informant did not tell them exactly that in what container the shabu would be placed. The integrity of the shabu was also compromised because no evidence was presented to show how they tested the contents of the box.

MMICLAT JR. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES August 31, 2011 | J. Peralta | Arrest Digester: Alexis Bea

SUMMARY: Tanawan had an accident at work and submitted himself to Dr. Lim (company physician) for a medical examination to treat his foot injury. He was treated for a foot injury for 172 days until he was declared fit to work. He also went to another doctor for a disability evaluation (this time for an eye injury sustained while on board the vessel). He filed a complaint for disability benefits, sickness allowance, and damages against petitioner. The court partially grants the petition: awarding for his foot injuries and deleting the award for his eye injury. Because according to the Standard Employment Contract, only the company physician can assess and establish the disability of the repatriated seaman. DOCTRINE: Employment of seafarers, and its incidents, are governed by the contracts they sign every time they are hired or rehired. While the seafarers and their employers are governed by their mutual agreements, the POEA rules and regulations require that the POEA SEC which contains the standard terms and conditions of the seafarers’ employment in foreign ocean going vessels, be integrated in every seafarer’s contract.

FACTS:

Police operatives conducted a surveillance of drug trafficking in Palmera Spring II headed by SPO4 Ernesto Palting where an informant directed them to the residence of a certain “ABE”

After a short briefing at their station, the team proceeded to the target area to verify the said informant and/or memorandum

Through a small opening in the window, PO3 Antonio peeped inside and he saw “Abe” arranging several pieces of small plastic sachets which he believed to be containing shabu.

Then and there, they arrested the petitioner

[Petitioner’s version] is that, she was with her father and sister watching television when the police operatives barraged themselves into their house and that the shabu was later planted to the petitioner while travelling to the police station

[RTC] Petitioner Guilty of RA 9165, Sec. 11

Petitioner sought recourse with CA who then affirmed the decision of the RTC

o

[CA] contrary to the petitioner’s contention, the evidence presented by the prosecution were all admissible against him.

o

It was also established that he was informed of his constitutional rights at the time of his arrest

o

The prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt all of the elements necessary for the conviction of the petitioner for the offense of illegal possession of drugs

Petitioner is assailing the legality of his arrest and subsequent seizure of the suspected sachets of dangerous drugs from him

o Peeping through the window: not sufficient reason for the police authorities to enter his house without a valid warrant of arrest/search warrant

Petitioner raised no objection to the irregularity of his arrest before his arraignment

In consideration of his active participation in trial, he is deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court, thereby curing any defect in his arrest

o Accused is estopped from assailing any irregularity in his arrest if he fails to raise this issue or to move for a quashal of information against him on this ground before arraignment

RULING: Appeal is DENIED Whether or not arranging four pieces of plastic sachets constitutes as a crime within the meaning of Section 5(3) Rule 113 of the ROCYES

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, objection is deemed waived

At the time of his arraignment, there was no objection raised as to the irregularity of arrest and 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

An illegal arrest of an accused is not sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after a trial free from error

o Will not even negate the validity of conviction

A settled exception to Sec. 2 of the Bill of Rights is that of an arrest made during the commission of a crime, which does not require a previously issued warrant

Such warrantless arrest is considered reasonable under Sec. 5(a) Rule 113 of Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure

o

Sec. 5(a) Rule 113 of Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure o Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant;

Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful a peace office of 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

For the exception in Section 5(a), two elements must be present

o

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

o

Such overt act was done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer

In consideration of the circumstances surrounding the arrest, petitioner was clearly arrested in flagrante delicto as he was then constituting a crime in front of the arresting officer

ANTIQUERA v. PEOPLE December 11, 2013 | Abad, J. | Arrest without warrant, when lawful Digester: Bathan, Lizzie

SUMMARY: Police officers were conducting a visibility patrol when they were alerted by two men leaving a particular house. They peeked through the open door of the house and claimed to have seen Antiquera and Cruz having a pot session. They searched the premises and seized drug paraphernalia and later charged them with possession of such paraphernalia. The RTC and CA found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt ruling that it was a valid warrantless arrest. The SC acquitted the accused and held that they were not caught in flagrante delicto since the officers had to push open the door to see what was going on inside the house. DOCTRINE: 1) Sec 5(a), Rule 113 Rules of Criminal Procedure: arrest in flagrante delicto. 2) A waiver of an illegal warrantless does not carry with it a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during the illegal warrantless arrest.

CRIME: Illegal Possession of Paraphernalia for dangerous drugs

ACTION: Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45

FACTS:

Jan 13, 2004 The 2 nd Asst. City Prosecutor of Pasay City charged the accused George Antiquera and Corazon Cruz with illegal possession of paraphernalia for dangerous drugs before the RTC of Pasay City. The court tried Cruz in absentia since she jumped bail.

Feb 11, 2004, (4:45am) PO1 Recio and Cabutihan, along with other officers, were on board a patrol car and a tricycle conducting a police visibility patrol on David Street, Pasay City, when they saw two unidentified men rush out of house #107C and immediately boarded a jeep. Suspecting that a crime had been committed, the officers approached the house and peeked through the partially opened door. Recio and Cabutihan saw Antiquera holding an improvised tooter and a pink lighter. Cruz was beside him holding an aluminum foil and improvised burner. The officers entered the house, introduced themselves, and arrested both.

While inspecting the immediate surroundings, Cabutihan saw a wooden jewelry box atop a table, which contained other paraphernalia. The officers confiscated all these and brought the two to the Drug Enforcement Unit of the PNP in Pasay City for further investigation and testing. A forensic chemical officer found the paraphernalia positive for traces of shabu.

Antiquera’s version: He and Cruz were asleep in the house when someone knocked on the door. When he opened it, three armed officers forced themselves into the house and told him that he was a (drug) pusher. He was handcuffed and two officers went to his room. They were brought to the police station and there, they were informed of the charges against them. They were also shown a box claimed to be recovered from his house.

RTC

Antiquera: Arrest was illegal.

RTC Found Antiquera and Cruz guilty of the crime charged and sentenced them to a prison term ranging from 6 months and 1 day to 2 years and 4 months + P10k fine each. The prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that the police caught the accused in the act of using shabu and having drug paraphernalia in their possession. No ill motive could be attributed to Recio and Cabutihan, therefore the court accorded full faith and credit to their testimony that prior to the arrest, they saw Antiquera and Cruz in a pot session and in possession of drug paraphernalia.

CA: Affirmed decision in full. MR was likewise denied.

RULING: Petition granted. RTC and CA decision reversed and set aside. Antiquera acquitted of the crime of which he is charged for lack of evidence sufficient to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Whether accused’s arrest was valid – NO.

Prosecution’s theory, upheld by RTC and CA: valid warrantless arrest because the police officers saw accused through the door of their house in the act of having a pot session. The valid warrantless arrest gave the officers the right as well to search the living room for objects relation to the crime and thus seize the paraphernalia they found. Since the paraphernalia tested positive for shabu, they were no doubts used for using dangerous drugs in violation of RA 9165, Sec 12. That the accused tested negative for shabu had no bearing since they were charged for illegal possession of drug paraphernalia, not for illegal use of drugs. Furthermore, assuming that the arrest was irregular, accused already waived his right to question the validity of the arrest when he voluntarily submitted himself to the court’s jurisdiction by entering a plea of not guilty. Sec 5(a) Rule 113 provides that a police officer may arrest a person without a warrant when he has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense (in flagrante delicto).

The Court held that the circumstances do not make out a case of arrest made in flagrante delicto. When two unidentified men suddenly rushed out of the house, the police officers were alerted and they suspected that a crime had been committed. However, the natural thing to do would be chase the jeep that the two fleeing men boarded, given that the officers were in a patrol car and a tricycle. Running after suspects = more urgent. They gave priority instead to the house even when they heard no cry for help from it. Furthermore, the police officers did not notice anything amiss going on in the house from where they stood. Even as they peeked through the door, they saw no activity that warranted their entering it. According to the testimony of PO1 Cabutihan, they had to push the door to be able to know what was happening inside the house.

Warrantless arrest not valid invalid search and seizure inadmissible evidence.

Lastly, the failure of the accused to object to the irregularity of his arrest by itself is not enough to sustain his conviction. A waiver of an illegal warrantless does not carry with it a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during the illegal warrantless arrest.

LUZ v. PEOPLE February 29, 2012 | Sereno, J. | Method of Arrest Digester: Batac, Jeffrey

SUMMARY: Rodel Luz was flagged down for violation of a city ordinance requiring drivers to wear protective helmets. While being issued a traffic violation ticket, he was asked to take out the contents of his pocket. Luz obliged even though the police officers did not have a search warrant. It was later discovered that part of the contents he pulled out of his pocket were sachets of shabu. Subsequently, he was charged with and convicted of illegal possession of dangerous drugs. Upon review by the SC, Luz was acquitted on the ground that the evidence presented against him were inadmissible, there being no lawful arrest that could have justified the warrantless search that yielded said evidence. DOCTRINE: The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Any evidence obtained in violation of said right shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

CRIME: Violation of a city ordinance requiring all motorcycle drivers to wear a protective helmet while driving; illegal possession of dangerous drugs

ACTION: Petition for review under Rule 45.

FACTS:

On March 10, 2003, at around 3 a.m., PO2/traffic enforcer Emmanuel L. Alteza of Naga City Police Station flagged down Rodel Luz. The latter was seen riding a motorcyle without a helmet in violation of an existing municipal ordinance requiring all motorcycle drivers to wear a helmet while driving. Alteza invited Luz to come inside their sub-station since the place where the latter was flagged down was almost in front of the said sub-station.

Together with SPO1 Rayford Brillante, Alteza was issuing a citation ticket for violation of municipal ordinance when he noticed that Luz was uneasy and kept on getting something from his jacket. Alerted, Alteza told Luz to take out the contents of the pocket of his jacket as the latter may have a weapon inside it. According to the police officers, Luz obliged and slowly put out from his pocket a nickel-like tin or metal container about two (2) to three (3) inches in size, including two (2) cellphones, one (1) pair of scissors and one (1) Swiss knife.

Upon seeing the said container, Alteza asked Luz to open it. Alteza noticed a cartoon cover and something beneath it. Upon Alteza's instruction, Luz spilled out the contents of the container on the table which turned out to be four (4) plastic sachets, the two (2) of which were empty while the other two (2) contained suspected shabu.

Luz entered a plea of not guilty. Subsequentely, he was convicted of illegal possession of dangerous drugs. The RTC found the prosecution's evidence sufficient to show that Luz had been lawfully arrested for a traffic violation and then subjected to a valid search, which led to the discovery on his person of two

plastic sachets later found to contain shabu. The RTC also found his defense of frame-up and extortion to be weak, self-serving and unsubstantiated.

The CA affirmed the RTC's ruling.

Luz filed before the SC a petition for review under Rule 45. Luz was claiming that there was no lawful search and seizure because there was no lawful arrest. One of his arguments was that the finding that there was a lawful arrest was erroneous, since he was not even issued a citation ticket or charged with violation of the city ordinance. Even assuming there was a valid arrest, he was claiming that he had never consented to the search conducted upon him

RULING: Petition granted.

Whether or not Luz was lawfully arrested. NO.

When Luz was flagged down for committing a traffic violation, he was not, ipso facto and solely for this reason, arrested.

Arrest is the taking of a person into custody in order that he or she may be bound to answer for the commission of an offense. It is effected by an actual restraint of the person to be arrested or by that persons voluntary submission to the custody of the one making the arrest. Neither the application of actual force, manual touching of the body, or physical restraint, nor a formal declaration of arrest, is required. It is enough that there be an intention on the part of one of the parties to arrest the other, and that there be an intent on the part of the other to submit, under the belief and impression that submission is necessary.

Under R.A. 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, the general procedure for dealing with a traffic violation is not the arrest of the offender, but the confiscation of the drivers license of the latter. As per the PNP Operations Manual, PNP officers apprehending a driver for traffic violations should immediately issue a Traffic Citation Ticket (TCT) or Traffic Violation Report (TVR), an should never indulge in prolonged, unnecessary conversation or argument with the driver or any of the vehicle's occupants.

At the time Luz was waiting for PO3 Alteza to write his citation ticket, Luz could not be said to have been under arrest. There was no intention on the part of PO3 Alteza to arrest him, deprive him of his liberty, or take him into custody. Prior to the issuance of the ticket, the period during which Luz was at the police station may be characterized merely as waiting time. In fact, as found by the trial court, PO3 Alteza himself testified that the only reason they went to the police sub- station was that Luz had been flagged down almost in front of that place. Hence, it was only for the sake of convenience that they were waiting there. There was no intention to take Luz into custody.

In the US, it has been held that roadside questioning does not fall under custodial interrogation, nor can it be considered a formal arrest, by virtue of the nature of the questioning, the expectations of the motorist and the officer, and the length of time the procedure is conducted.

It also appears that, according to City Ordinance No. 98-012, which was violated by Luz, the failure to wear a crash helmet while riding a motorcycle is penalized by

a fine only. Under the Rules of Court, a warrant of arrest need not be issued if the information or charge was filed for an offense penalized by a fine only. It may be stated as a corollary that neither can a warrantless arrest be made for such an offense.

But even if one were to work under the assumption that petitioner was deemed arrested upon being flagged down for a traffic violation and while awaiting the issuance of his ticket, then the requirements for a valid arrest were not complied with.

In numerous cases, the Court has held that at the time a person is arrested, it shall be the duty of the arresting officer to inform the latter of the reason for the arrest and must show that person the warrant of arrest, if any. Persons shall be informed of their constitutional rights to remain silent and to counsel, and that any statement they might make could be used against them. It may also be noted that in this case, these constitutional requirements were complied with by the police officers only after petitioner had been arrested for illegal possession of dangerous drugs

Whether or not the warrantless search conducted on Luz was valid. NO.

The following are the instances when a warrantless search is allowed: (i) a warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest; (ii) search of evidence in plain view; (iii) search of a moving vehicle; (iv) consented warrantless search; (v) customs search; (vi) a stop and frisk search; and (vii) exigent and emergency circumstances. None of the above-mentioned instances, especially a search incident to a lawful arrest, is applicable to this case.

It must be noted that the evidence seized, although alleged to be inadvertently discovered, was not in plain view. It was actually concealed inside a metal container inside Luz’s pocket. Clearly, the evidence was not immediately apparent.

Neither was there a consented warrantless search. Consent to a search is not to be lightly inferred, but shown by clear and convincing evidence. It must be voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal search; that is, the consent must be unequivocal, specific, intelligently given and uncontaminated by any duress or coercion. While the prosecution claims that Luz acceded to the instruction of PO3 Alteza, this alleged accession does not suffice to prove valid and intelligent consent. In fact, the RTC found that Luz was merely told to take out the contents of his pocket.

Whether consent to the search was in fact voluntary is a question of fact to be determined from the totality of all the circumstances. Relevant to this determination are the following characteristics of the person giving consent and the environment in which consent is given: (1) the age of the defendant; (2) whether the defendant was in a public or a secluded location; (3) whether the defendant objected to the search or passively looked on; (4) the education and intelligence of the defendant; (5) the presence of coercive police procedures; (6) the defendants belief that no incriminating evidence would be found; (7) the nature of the police questioning; (8) the environment in which the questioning took place; and (9) the possibly vulnerable subjective state of the person consenting. It is the State that has the burden of proving by clear and positive testimony that the necessary consent was obtained, and was freely and voluntarily given. In this case, all that was alleged

was that Luz was alone at the police station at three in the morning, accompanied by several police officers. These circumstances weigh heavily against a finding of valid consent to a warrantless search.

Neither does the search qualify under the stop and frisk rule. While the rule normally applies when a police officer observes suspicious or unusual conduct, which may lead him to believe that a criminal act may be afoot, the stop and frisk is merely a limited protective search of outer clothing for weapons

Whether or not Luz should be acquitted. YES.

Luz must be acquitted. While he may have failed to object to the illegality of his arrest at the earliest opportunity, a waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not, however, mean a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during the illegal warrantless arrest.

The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Any evidence obtained in violation of said right shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. While the power to search and seize may at times be necessary to the public welfare, still it must be exercised and the law implemented without contravening the constitutional rights of citizens, for the enforcement of no statute is of sufficient importance to justify indifference to the basic principles of government.

The subject items seized during the illegal arrest are inadmissible. The drugs are the very corpus delicti of the crime of illegal possession of dangerous drugs. Thus, their inadmissibility precludes conviction and calls for the acquittal of the accused.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RENE NUESTRO January 18, 1995 | Regalado, J. | Arrest Method of arrest: by private person Digester: Aspi, Maria Margarita

SUMMARY: Nuestro stabbed Dabi. After the stabbing, Franco and Benito brought Nuestro to the police station. However, Nuestro claims that his surrender was voluntary. The Court held that Nuestro did not voluntarily surrender but was placed under citizen’s arrest by Franco and Benito. DOCTRINE: A warrantless arrest may be made by a private person. This is called citizen’s arrest.

CRIME: Murder

ACTION: Appeal from the decision of RTC of Iloilo

FACTS:

May 24, 1991: Lani and her father, the victim Ludovico Dabi, went to La Paz for the town fiesta. When they arrived at their residence, her father tried to open the lock of the gate. Out of nowhere, appellant Rene Nuestro suddenly appeared and without any provocation, stabbed Dabi.

Elias Franco saw Nuestro stab Dabi. He immediately got a piece of wood to prevent Nuestro from doing any further harm. When Nuestro saw this, he threw his knife away. The wounded Dabi uttered, "Elias, you take care of Rene Nuestro." Franco heard Nuestro saying, "I hold myself responsible and I'll go to jail for this."

Some wanted to beat up Nuestro but Franco prevailed upon them not to do so. Nuestro pleaded, "Don't harm me or beat me because I will just go to prison for this."

One Ernesto Pe Benito went out to investigate and saw Franco holding Nuestro by the shoulder. Franco then asked for his help in bringing Nuestro to the police station.

Pre-trial conference: Nuestro admitted killing the victim but asked that he be allowed to plead to the lesser offense of homicide and that the mitigating circumstances of plea of guilty and voluntary surrender be appreciated in his favor.

The trial court just noted the admission of appellant that he was responsible for the death of the victim but without any qualifying circumstance.

RTC: found appellant guilty of the crime of murder and imposed on him the penalty of reclusion perpetua. He was also ordered to pay the heirs of victim Ludovico Dabi P50,000.00 as death indemnity, P31,340.00 as reimbursement for the wake, funeral and burial expenses, and to pay the costs.

RULING: Ruling of the RTC is AFFIRMED.

Whether Nuestro was placed under citizen’s arrest – YES.

Nuestro's asseverations that he voluntarily surrendered, and that Franco merely accompanied him to the police station after a chance meeting, were rendered

worthless by the testimony of SPO Pedro Contreras. This policeman stated that a civilian, obviously referring to Franco, brought appellant to the police station and did not merely accompany the latter.

The police blotter clearly shows that Nuestro was placed under citizen's arrest by Elias Franco and Ernesto Pe Benito and was turned over to the officers of the Jaro Police Station. Obviously, the Court cannot grant Nuestro the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender which he claims.

NOTES:

The focus of the case is Nuestro’s invocation of the justifying circumstance of self- defense when he stabbed Dabi. However, the Court ruled that his claim must necessarily fail because evidence proves otherwise.

PEOPLE v. RENANTE MENDEZ & BABY CABAGTONG November 21, 2002 | Mendoza, J. Digester: Arreza, Dapor

TOPIC: Arrest: Method of Arrest By Private Person

FACTS: Appellants Renante Mendez and Rene “Baby” Cabagtong were charged with the crime of rape with homicide of one Candy Dolim. Upon arraignment, they pleaded “not guilty” and then trial ensued. The prosecution’s theory, which was supported by its witnesses’ testimonies was that on the morning of Dec 8, 1996, Candy was asked by her father to go out and collect bets for the PBA endings game from the local residents. She never returned that evening and her relatives looked for her in vain. She was to be found only on Dec 12, brutally molested and lifeless. Later, the victim’s father heard reports that a certain Ronnie Cabagtong was involved in the killing of his daughter, hence, he filed a complaint against Ronnie. This caused Ronnie’s warrantless arrest (and detention) together with appellant Mendez; but while Ronnie was being investigated at the police station, his mother Aurea arrived and declared that she knew what really happened to Candy and offered to be a witness. She pointed to appellants Mendez and Baby Cabagtong as the perpetrators. Aurea testified that on the night of Dec 8, appellants went to her house looking for Ronnie and that her son asked her to let the two inside. She testified that she saw appellants washing their clothes to remove bloodstains on them when the two spent the night in her house. Ronnie Cabagtong, for his part, claimed to be an eyewitness to the crime. He testified that on the evening of Dec 8, he was in a local Betamax screening place where the victim and the appellants were also present. He said that Candy left early and that appellants followed her. He himself left the place 5 minutes later and on the way home, he allegedly saw from 3 meters away appellants raping Candy. It was raining and there was no moonlight, but Ronnie said he recognized appellants because of a lantern which illuminated the place. After witnessing the crime, he casually proceeded home and went to sleep only to be awakened by appellants coming to his house. Ronnie’s statement, however, was never put into writing, but he was released from custody as a result thereof. And by the strength of his and Aurea’s testimonies, appellant Mendez was kept in custody, supposedly for “further investigation” while a manhunt for Baby Cabagtong was ordered. Baby Cabagtong was subsequently arrested, not by the police, but by a barangay tanod, a civilian. His arrest, like Mendez’s was without warrant. Investigating officer SPO2 Cernio testified that the arrest of appellant Mendez without a warrant was based on their knowledge of his guilt. The tanod who arrested Baby Cabagtong, also without warrant, testified that his conduct was sanctioned by the citizens’ arrest law and that he based his arrest of Baby from the statement of Aurea Cabagtong. The defense, on the other hand, presented a theory diametrically opposed to that of the prosecution’s – that the crime was committed by one Randy Gomba, and not by appellants.

This is supported by their own “eyewitness,” one Josefina Bernas who testified that on the night of the crime, while she and her husband were making copra, they heard a woman crying. When Josefina went to see what it was, she saw a girl being raped by a man. Josefina recognized the assailant to be Randy Gomba. The RTC was swayed by the prosecution’s case, giving particular weight to Ronnie and Aurea Cabagtong’s testimonies, and convicted appellants of the crime and sentenced them accordingly.

The ISSUES are:

WoN RTC erred in finding appellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime WoN their warrantless arrests were valid

RULING: WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 22, Laoang, Northern Samar, dated December 22, 2000, is REVERSED and accused- appellants Renante Mendez and Rene Baby Cabagtong are ACQUITTED of the crime of rape with homicide on the ground of reasonable doubt. The Director of Prisons is hereby directed to forthwith cause the release of accused- appellants unless the latter are being lawfully held for another cause and to inform the Court accordingly within ten (10) days from notice of the action taken herein. SO ORDERED.

[ON ISSUE 1] The RTC favored the prosecution by giving credence to Ronnie and Aurea Cabagtong’s testimonies. It should not have, because certain circumstances make these testimonies suspect! For one, it is highly doubtful how Ronnie could have witnessed the rape considering that it was raining and there was no moonlight. His contention that there was a lamp illuminating the area is belied by the testimony of another prosecution witness who described the crime scene as uninhabited and surrounded by thick foliage. Thus, there could not have been any lamps in the area. Also, Ronnie’s behavior after he allegedly witnessed the crime, if he is to be believed, is contrary to normal human reaction (he casually proceeded home and went to sleep as if nothing happened). The police also took at face value Ronnie’s and Aurea’s testimony against appellants without considering (or overlooking) the ulterior motive that the former has in pointing to appellants as the culprits. RTC also did not probe the police why there was no investigation to follow up the lead coming from the defense’s witness Josefina Bernas coursed through the Barangay Captain. This, together with the other circumstances mentioned above, constitute reasonable doubt meriting the appellants’ acquittal.

[ON ISSUE 2] Contrary to his claim, SPO2 Cernio did not have personal knowledge of the commission of the crime so as to justify the warrantless arrest he made of appellant Renante Mendez. “Personal knowledge” of facts in arrests without warrant under Sec. 5(b) of Rule 113 must be based upon “probable cause,” which means “an actual belief or reasonable grounds of suspicion.” The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when it is based on

actual facts, i.e., when it is supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. It is also important to note that the only time the police had actual evidence/information against appellant Mendez was when Aurea Cabagtong came forward and pointed to him (Mendez) and Baby Cabagtong as the perpetrators. The police clearly did not have reasonable grounds in causing Mendez’s arrest without warrant because the witnesses (Ronnie and Aurea) only surfaced when he was already arrested. Baby Cabagtong’s arrest without warrant cannot also be sustained. He was arrested by a civilian who was not a witness to the crime nor part of the investigating team. Such arresting person (barangay tanod) could not have had personal knowledge of the incident and this was proven on trial when he testified that he merely based his arrest on the information supplied by Aurea Cabagtong to the police. This does not constitute personal knowledge to constitute a valid citizens’ arrest.

.

POSADAS v OMBUDSMAN September 29, 2000 | Mendoza, J. | Arrest Digester: Angat, Christine Joy F.

SUMMARY: Following the death of Dennis Venturina in a fraternity rumble, Posadas requested the assistance of NBI to determine the perpetrators. Based on the accounts of alleged eyewitnesses, NBI attempted to arrest without warrant two members of Scintilla Juris Fraternity. Posadas and other UP officials opposed the arrest, and the arrest was not effected. NBI then filed a complaint for obstruction of justice against Posadas et. Al. The Court held that the attempted arrest was invalid, it being carried out without a warrant and not falling within the provisions of a valid warrantless arrest. Hence, Posads et.al. was within the bounds of the law when it opposed the attempted warrantless arrest. DOCTRINE: The general rule is that no arrest may be made except by virtue of a warrant issued by a judge after examining the complaint and the witnesses he may produce and after finding of probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed the crime. The exception to the general rule, that is, a valid warrantless arrest, is provided in Rule 113, Sec. 5 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure.

CRIME: Violation of PD 1829 (Obstruction of Justice), Section 1(c) (see notes)

ACTION: Petition for certiorari and prohibition (to set aside the resolution of the Ombudsman)

FACTS:

Following the death of Dennis Venturina (see notes), UP Diliman Chancellor Roger Posadas sought the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation in determining the persons responsible for the crime.

In the meantime, to put an end to the violence on the campus, UP Police called for a peace talk at the UP Police Station between Sigma Rho Fraternity and Scintilla Juris Fraternity.

Acting on Posadas’ request, Orlando Dizon, Chief of the Special Operations Group of NBI, went to UP, and on the basis of the supposed positive identification of two alleged eyewitnesses (Leandro Lachica and Cesar Mangrobang), attempted to arrest Francis Carlo Taparan and Raymundo Narag, officers of Scintilla Juris, who was then attending the peace talk at the UP Police Station.

Posadas, together with Assistant Legal Counsel of UP, Marichu Lambino, and Vice Chancellor Rosario Torres-Yu, also from UP, and Atty. Villamor, counsel for the suspects, objected on the ground that NBI did not have warrants of arrest.

As a result of the intervention, Taparan and Narag were not arrested that day. Posadas and Atty. Villamor, however, promised to take the suspects to NBI Office the next day.

Taparan and Narag were not brought in the next day. Instead, they were able to escape along with another principal suspect, Joel Carlo Denosta. Dizon filed a

complaint in the Office of Special Prosecutor against Posadas, Torrre-Yu, Lambino, Col. Eduardo Bentain, Chief of UP Security Force, and Atty. Villamor, with violation of P.D. 1829 for obstructing and impeding the apprehension and prosecution of Taparan, Narag, and Denosta.

Office of the Special Prosecutor

Recommended the dismissal of the case

Ombudsman:

Directed the Special Prosecutor to proceed with the prosecution of the petitioners

The Scintilla Juris members were positively identified by two eyewitnesses, hence, Posadas et.al. had reasonable ground to suspect that the SJ members sought to be arrested participated in the killing of Venturina. In barring the apprehending officers from arresting the SJ members they willfully obstruct, frustrate or, at the least, delay the apprehension and investigation and prosecution of SJ members.

RULING: Petition granted.

Whether the attempted arrest of the student suspects by the NBI could be validly made without a warrant -- NO

Under Art. III, Sec. 2 of the Constitution, the general rule is that no arrest may be made except by virtue of a warrant issued by a judge after examining the complaint and the witnesses he may produce and after finding of probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed the crime. The exception to the general rule is provided in Rule 113, Sec. 5 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure:

o

(a) When, in his presence the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense

o

(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of the facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it

o

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

In the instant case, the arresting officers did not witness the crime being committed. Neither are the students fugitives from justice nor prisoners who had escaped from confinement.

As to paragraph (b), it is required that the crime had “just been committed” and the arresting officer had “personal knowledge of the facts indicating that the person to be arrested had committed it.”

o

The NBI tried to arrest Narag and Taparan four days after the commission of the crime, which hardly meets the requirement that the crime “had just been committed.”

o

They had no personal knowledge of any fact which might indicate that the two students were probably guilty of the crime. They were not at the scene of the crime and the suspects did not do anything that would create the suspicion

they are doing anything illegal. The positive identification of the two alleged eyewitnesses are insufficient to justify the warrantless arrest.

Personal knowledge must be based upon probable cause which means an “actual or reasonable grounds of suspicion”; in the absence of actual belief of the arresting officers, the suspicion that the person to be arrested is probable 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.

The determination of the existence of probable cause that the persons to be arrested committed the crime was for the judge to make. To allow the arrest which the NBI intended to make without warrant would in effect allow them to supplant the courts.

Whether there was probable cause for prosecuting petitioners for violation of PD 1829 -- NO

Petittioners’ objection to the arrest of the students cannot be construed as a violation of PD 1829, 1(c). They had a right to prevent the arrest at the time because it was illegal. It was not to obstruct or impede the prosecution, but it was done to safeguard the rights of students.

The fact that the suspects were able to escape is not due to the fault of petitioners. NBI is to blame for their inability to arrest Narag and Taparan. If the NBI believed the information given to them by supposed eyewitness is sufficient to establish probable cause, they should have applied for a warrant instead of arresting the suspects without one. That they chose not to and were prevented from making an arrest for lack of a warrant is their responsibility alone. Further, it is immaterial whether or not Posadas surrendered the student suspects to the NBI agents the following day. They were not sureties or bondsmen who could be held to their undertaking.

NOTES:

PD 1829, Section 1. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period, or a fine ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 pesos, or both, shall be imposed upon any person who knowingly or willfully obstructs, impedes, frustrates or delays the apprehension of suspects and the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases by committing any of the following acts:

(c) harboring or concealing, or facilitating the escape of, any person he knows, or has reasonable ground to believe or suspect, has committed any offense under existing penal laws in order to prevent his arrest, prosecution, and conviction.

Dennis Venturina was a UP graduating student and a member of the Sigma Rho Fraternity who was killed in a rumble between his fraternity and Scintilla Juris Fraternity on December 8, 1994.

LEVISTE v. ALAMEDA August 3, 2010 | Carpio-Morales, J. | Determination of Probable Cause for issuance of warrant of arrest Digester: Agustin, Chrissete

SUMMARY: Petitioner was charged with homicide. Information against him was then amended to murder. Complainants filed a motion for deferment of the proceedings for reinvestigation. RTC granted the deferment and allowed reinvestigation. RTC also admitted admitted the amended information and issued a warrant of arrest. Petitioner, in his appeal to the SC, raised that there should have been a hearing conducted for the judicial determination of probable cause. Court ruled in the negative. DOCTRINE: The rules do not require cases to be set for hearing to determine probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest of the accused before any warrant may be issued.

CRIME: Homicide

ACTION: Petition for review via Rule 45

FACTS:

Petitioner was, by Information of January 16, 2007, charged with homicide for the death of Rafael de las Alas on January 12, 2007 before the RTC of Makati, presided by Judge Elmo Alameda, forthwith issued a commitment order against petitioner who was placed under police custody while confined at the Makati Medical Center

RTC

After petitioner posted a P40,000 cash bond which the trial court approved, he was released from detention, and his arraignment was set on January 24, 2007.

The private complainants-heirs of De las Alas filed, with the conformity of the public prosecutor, an Urgent Omnibus Motion praying, inter alia, for the deferment of the proceedings to allow the public prosecutor to re-examine the evidence on record or to conduct a reinvestigation to determine the proper offense.

The RTC thereafter issued the (1) Order of January 24, 2007 deferring petitioners arraignment and allowing the prosecution to conduct a reinvestigation to determine the proper offense and submit a recommendation within 30 days from its inception, inter alia; and (2) Order of January 31, 2007 denying reconsideration of the first orders.

Petitioner assailed these orders via certiorari and prohibition before the CA.

Meantime, petitioner filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Manifestation and Motion before the trial court to defer acting on the public prosecutors recommendation on the proper offense until after the appellate court resolves his application for injunctive reliefs, or alternatively, to grant him time to comment on the prosecutors recommendation and thereafter set a hearing for the judicial determination of probable cause. Petitioner also separately moved for the inhibition of Judge Alameda with prayer to defer action on the admission of the Amended Information.

The RTC nonetheless issued the other assailed orders, viz:

(1) Order of February 7, 2007 that admitted the Amended Information murder and directed the issuance of a warrant of arrest; and (2) Order of February 8, 2007 which set the arraignment on February 13, 2007.

Petitioner questioned these two orders via supplemental petition before the appellate court. CA DENIED. RULING: Petition DENIED. CA Decision AFFIRMED.

Whether the petitioner waived his right to challenge the reinvestigation of the charge against him, the validity of the Amended Information, or the legality of the arrest NO. Participation is not equivalent to waiver. However, issue is already MOOT since petitioner is already CONVICTED.

The arraignment on March 21, 2007 pushed through during which petitioner refused to plead, drawing the TC to enter a plea of not guilty for him.

Prior thereto, on February 23, 2007, petitioner filed an Urgent Application for Admission to Bail Ex Abundanti Cautela , which the TC, after hearings thereon, granted by Order, it finding that the evidence of guilt for the crime of murder is not strong. It accordingly allowed petitioner to post bail in the amount of P300,000 for his provisional liberty.

The RTC, absent any writ of preliminary injunction from the CA, went on to try petitioner under the Amended Information. By Decision of January 14, 2009, the RTC found petitioner guilty of homicide.

From the Decision, petitioner filed an appeal to the CA during the pendency of which he filed an urgent application for admission to bail pending appeal. The CA denied petitioners application which this Court, in G.R. No. 189122, affirmed by Decision of March 17, 2010.

The OSG argued that the present petition had been rendered moot since the presentation of evidence, wherein petitioner actively participated, had been concluded.

Waiver on the part of the accused must be distinguished from mootness of the petition, for in the present case, petitioner did not, by his active participation in the trial, waive his stated objections. (See Section 26, Rule 114)

By applying for bail, petitioner did not waive his right to challenge the regularity of the reinvestigation of the charge against him, the validity of the admission of the Amended Information, and the legality of his arrest under the Amended Information, as he vigorously raised them prior to his arraignment.

The Court cannot reasonably infer a valid waiver on the part of petitioner to preclude him from obtaining a definite resolution of the objections he so timely invoked. Other than its allegation of active participation, the OSG offered no clear and convincing proof that petitioners participation in the trial was unconditional with the intent to voluntarily and unequivocally abandon his petition. On January 26, 2010, petitioner still moved for the early resolution of the present petition.

Whatever delay arising from petitioners availment of remedies against the RTC Orders cannot be imputed to petitioner to operate as a valid waiver on his part. Neither can the non-issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction be deemed as a

voluntary relinquishment of petitioners principal prayer. The non-issuance of such injunctive relief only means that the CA did not preliminarily find any exception to the long-standing doctrine that injunction will not lie to enjoin a criminal prosecution. Consequently, the trial of the case took its course.

The judgment convicting petitioner of homicide under the Amended Information for murder operates as a supervening event that mooted the present petition. Mootness would have also set in had petitioner been convicted of murder, for proof beyond reasonable doubt, which is much higher than probable cause, would have been established in that instance.

Whether prosecution has right under the Rules to seek from the trial court an investigation or reevaluation of the case YES

Section 6, Rule 112

A PI is required before the filing of a complaint or information for an offense where the penalty prescribed by law is at least 4 years, 2 months and 1 day without regard to fine. As an exception, the rules provide that there is no need for a PI in cases of a lawful arrest without a warrant involving such type of offense, so long as an inquest, where available, has been conducted BEFORE THE FILING OF COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION IN COURT

The private complainant may proceed in coordinating with the arresting officer and the inquest officer during the latters conduct of inquest. Meanwhile, the arrested person has the option to avail of a 15-day PI, provided he duly signs a waiver of any objection against delay in his delivery to the proper judicial authorities under Article 125 RPC. This remedy is not available to the private complainant since he cannot waive what he does not have. The benefit of the provisions of Article 125, which requires the filing of a complaint or information with the proper judicial authorities within the applicable period, belongs to the arrested person.

The accelerated process of inquest ends with either the prompt filing of an information in court or the immediate release of the arrested person. Notably, the rules on inquest do not provide for a motion for reconsideration.

Contrary to petitioners position that private complainant should have appealed to the DOJ Secretary, such remedy is not immediately available in cases subject of inquest.

Noteworthy is the proviso that the appeal to the DOJ Secretary is by petition by a proper party under such rules as the DOJ may prescribe. The rule referred to is the 2000 National Prosecution Service Rule on Appeal, Section 1 of which provides that the Rule shall apply to appeals from resolutions x x x in cases subject of preliminary investigation/ reinvestigation. In cases subject of inquest, therefore, the private party should first avail of a preliminary investigation or reinvestigation, if any, before elevating the matter to the DOJ Secretary.

In case the inquest proceedings yield no probable cause, the private complainant may pursue the case through the regular course of a preliminary investigation. ONCE A COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION IS FILED IN COURT

The rules yet provide the accused with another opportunity to ask for a PI within 5 days from the time he learns of its filing. The ROC and the New Rules on Inquest

are silent, however, on whether the private complainant could invoke, as respondent heirs of the victim did in the present case, a similar right to ask for a reinvestigation.

The Court holds that the private complainant can move for reinvestigation, subject to and in light of the ensuing disquisition.

All criminal actions commenced by a complaint or information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor. The private complainant in a criminal case is merely a witness and not a party to the case and cannot, by himself, ask for the reinvestigation of the case after the information had been filed in court, the proper party for that being the public prosecutor who has the control of the prosecution of the case. Thus, in cases where the private complainant is allowed to intervene by counsel in the criminal action and is granted the authority to prosecute, the private complainant, by counsel and with the conformity of the public prosecutor, can file a motion for reinvestigation.

In fact, the DOJ instructs that before the arraignment of the accused, trial prosecutors must examine the Information vis--vis the resolution of the investigating prosecutor in order to make the necessary corrections or revisions and to ensure that the information is sufficient in form and substance

The prosecution of crimes appertains to the executive department of the government whose principal power and responsibility is to see that our laws are faithfully executed.

The prosecutions discretion is not boundless or infinite, however. The standing principle is that once an information is filed in court, any remedial measure such as

a reinvestigation must be addressed to the sound discretion of the court.

While a trial is to be preferred to a reinvestigation, the Court therein recognized that a trial court may, where the interest of justice so requires, grant a motion for reinvestigation of a criminal case pending before it.

Once the trial court grants the prosecutions motion for reinvestigation, the former

is deemed to have deferred to the authority of the prosecutorial arm of the

Government. Having brought the case back to the drawing board, the prosecution

is thus equipped with discretion wide and far reaching regarding the disposition

thereof subject to the TC’s approval of the resulting proposed course of action.

Since a reinvestigation may entail a modification of the criminal information as what happened in the present case, the Courts holding is bolstered by the rule on amendment of an information under Section 14, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court.

Whether the amendment of the Information from homicide to murder is considered a substantial amendment, which would make it not just a right but a duty of the prosecution to ask for a preliminary investigation. YES

Considering that another or a new preliminary investigation is required, the fact that what was conducted in the present case was a reinvestigation does not invalidate the substantial amendment of the Information. There is no substantial distinction between a preliminary investigation and a reinvestigation since both are conducted in the same manner and for the same objective of determining whether there exists sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been

committed and the respondent is probably guilty thereof and should be held for trial. What is essential is that petitioner was placed on guard to defend himself from the charge of murder after the claimed circumstances were made known to him as early as the first motion.

Petitioner did not make much of the opportunity to present countervailing evidence on the proposed amended charge. Despite notice of hearing, petitioner opted to merely observe the proceedings and declined to actively participate, even with extreme caution, in the reinvestigation. Mercado v. CA that the rules do not even require, as a condition sine qua non to the validity of a PI the presence of the respondent as long as efforts to reach him were made and an opportunity to controvert the complainants evidence was accorded him.

Whether the RTC can issue orders despite pendency of appeals to CA YES

The Rules categorically state that the petition shall not interrupt the course of the principal case unless a temporary retraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction has been issued.

The CA, by Resolution, denied petitioners application for a TRO and writ of preliminary injunction. Supplementary efforts to seek injunctive reliefs proved futile. The CA thus did not err in finding no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the RTC when it proceeded with the case and eventually arraigned the accused on March 21, 2007, there being no injunction order from the appellate court. Moreover, petitioner opted to forego appealing to the DOJ Secretary, a post- inquest remedy that was available after the reinvestigation and which could have suspended the arraignment.

There is no ground for petitioners protestations against the DOJ Secretarys sudden designation of Senior State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco as Acting City Prosecutor of Makati City for the present case and the latters conformity to the motion for reinvestigation.

In granting the reinvestigation, Judge Alameda cannot choose the public prosecutor who will conduct the reinvestigation or preliminary investigation. There is a hierarchy of officials in the prosecutory arm of the executive branch headed by the Secretary of Justice

The statements of the DOJ Secretary (media statements) do not evince a determination to file the Information even in the absence of probable cause. On the contrary, the remarks merely underscored the importance of securing basic investigative reports to support a finding of probable cause. The original Resolution even recognized that probable cause for the crime of murder cannot be determined based on the evidence obtained [u]nless and until a more thorough investigation is conducted and eyewitness/es [is/]are presented in evidence[.]

The trial court concluded that the wound sustained by the victim at the back of his head, the absence of paraffin test and ballistic examination, and the handling of physical evidence, as rationalized by the prosecution in its motion, are sufficient circumstances that require further inquiry.

That the evidence of guilt was not strong as subsequently assessed in the bail hearings does not affect the prior determination of probable cause because, as the

appellate court correctly stated, the standard of strong evidence of guilt which is sufficient to deny bail to an accused is markedly higher than the standard of judicial probable cause which is sufficient to initiate a criminal case

Whether the RTC is required to conduct at the very least, a hearing for judicial determination of probable cause, considering the lack of substantial or material new evidence adduced during the reinvestigation NO

There are two kinds of determination of probable cause: executive and judicial.

The executive determination of probable cause is one made during preliminary investigation. It is a function that properly pertains to the public prosecutor who is given a broad discretion to determine whether probable cause exists and to charge those whom he believes to have committed the crime as defined by law and thus should be held for trial. Otherwise stated, such official has the quasi-judicial authority to determine whether or not a criminal case must be filed in court. Whether that function has been correctly discharged by the public prosecutor, i.e., whether he has made a correct ascertainment of the existence of probable cause in a case, is a matter that the trial court itself does not and may not be compelled to pass upon

The judicial determination of probable cause is one made by the judge to ascertain whether a warrant of arrest should be issued against the accused. The judge must satisfy himself that based on the evidence submitted, there is necessity for placing the accused under custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice. If the judge finds no probable cause, the judge cannot be forced to issue the arrest warrant. Paragraph (a), Section 5, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court outlines the procedure to be followed by the RTC.

To move the court to conduct a judicial determination of probable cause is a mere superfluity, for with or without such motion, the judge is duty-bound to personally evaluate the resolution of the public prosecutor and the supporting evidence. In fact, the task of the presiding judge when the Information is filed with the court is first and foremost to determine the existence or non-existence of probable cause for the arrest of the accused.

The rules do not require cases to be set for hearing to determine probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest of the accused before any warrant may be issued. Petitioner thus cannot, as a matter of right, insist on a hearing for judicial determination of probable cause. Certainly, petitioner cannot determine beforehand how cursory or exhaustive the [judge's] examination of the records should be [since t]he extent of the judges examination depends on the exercise of his sound discretion as the circumstances of the case require.

The allegation of lack of substantial or material new evidence deserves no credence, because new pieces of evidence are not prerequisites for a valid conduct of reinvestigation. It is not material that no new matter or evidence was presented during the reinvestigation of the case. It should be stressed that reinvestigation, as the word itself implies, is merely a repeat investigation of the case. New matters or evidence are not prerequisites for a reinvestigation, which is simply a chance for the prosecutor to review and re-evaluate its findings and the evidence already submitted.

BERNARDO v TAN July 11, 2012| Sereno, J. | Distinguish probable cause of prosecutor and judge Digester: Yee, Jenine

SUMMARY: Bernardo filed a complaint for violation of the Subdivision and Condominium Buyers, the city prosecutor dismissed the complaint. Bernardo then filed a petition for review with the Secretary of Justice. The Secretary of Justice ordered the filing of informations. But when private respondents moved for reconsideration, the Secretary of Justice ordered the City Prosecutor for the withdrawal of Informations. The City Prosecutor moved for the withdrawal, and the RTC withdrew the Information. Bernardo then filed an MR but the CA upheld the decision of the RTC. The SC reversed the ruling of the RTC and CA saying that there is probable cause DOCTRINE: The court may grant or deny at its option a motion to dismiss or to withdraw the information based on its own assessment of the records of the preliminary investigation submitted to it, in the faithful exercise of judicial discretion and prerogative, and not out of subservience to the prosecutor. his exercise of discretion is not unbridled, however, especially when attended with grave abuse.

CRIME: The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers’ Protective Decree of 1976 and the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of P.D. 957 and Estafa through False Pretenses and Fraudulent Acts

ACTION: Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45

FACTS:

The present controversy stems from the 29 June 2006 and 8 September 2006 Orders of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) granting the withdrawal of the Informations filed against respondents for violation of Sections 5 (first Information), 17 (second Information), and 20 (third Information) in relation to Section 39 of Presidential Decree No. 957, otherwise known as “The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers’ Protective Decree of 1976” (P.D. 957).

On October 26, 2000, the petitioner Julieta Bernardo (Ms. Bernardo), offered to purchase a condominium unit of the Paseo Park view Suites Tower II project of the developer Megaworld Corporation (Megaworld) located at Sedeño corner Valero Streets, Salcedo Village, Makati City.

The said project was to be constructed on the lots covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. 160210, 160211 and 160212, which are located at Makati City. Ms. Bernardo paid a reservation deposit, thus, a Request for Reservation and Offer to Purchase] was completed by Ms. Bernardo and the same was assented to by Megaworld.

Subsequently, a Contract to Buy and Sell dated November 22, 2000 was furnished to Ms. Bernardo. The said contract stipulated therein that the condominium unit would be delivered not later than July 31, 2003 with an additional grace period of six (6) months. As of October 22, 2003, Ms. Bernardo was able to make another payment for the condo (although not in full). On April 15, 2004, Megaworld sent a letter to Ms. Bernardo regarding the transmittal of the Deed of Absolute Sale for

her to affix her signatures thereto and for her to pay taxes and other fees so that Megaworld could start with the processing of her bank loan. Attached with the letter is a schedule of expenses needed in the transfer of the certificate of title in favor of Ms. Bernardo. The taxes and other fees to be paid by Ms. Bernardo amounted to P 93,318.13. The conflict arose when Megaworld sent a letter dated August 9, 2004 to Ms. Bernardo as a final notice of cancellation or rescission of the Request for Reservation because of the latter’s alleged failure to make the necessary payments.

Consequently, Ms. Bernardo inquired with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) on the records of the project and she learned that the Certificate of Registration and the License to Sell for the project Paseo Parkview Tower 2 were only issued by HLURB on June 7, 2001. Hence, Ms. Bernardo, represented by Romeo Ruiz, filed a complaint on August 12, 2004 before the City Prosecutor of Makati City against the respondents for violations of Sections 5, 17 and 20 of Presidential Decree No. 957, otherwise known as "Regulating the Sale of Subdivision Lots and Condominiums, Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof" and the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of P.D. 957 and Estafa through False Pretenses and Fraudulent Acts before the Office of the City Prosecutor. Ms. Bernardo alleged that, since the Reservation Agreement (or Request for Reservation) was executed between her and Megaworld on October 26, 2000, the respondents should have caused the annotation of the same within 180 [days] therefrom or until April 24, 2001, that no annotation on the certificates of title was done when she verified the same, that Megaworld was never able to deliver the condominium unit on the stipulated deadline, which was on December 2003 and that, by such acts and omissions, Megaworld and the project owner, Sedeño Manor, violated the provisions of P.D. 957 to her prejudice.

In a Joint Counter-Affidavit filed by some of the respondents, they averred that Megaworld applied for a Certificate of Registration and License to Sell for the project as early as July 1, 1998, that subsequently, a License to Sell was issued by the HLURB but only for the Paseo Parkview Suites Phase 1 due to the modifications in the Paseo Parkview Suites Tower 2, that there was no intent on the part of Megaworld to defraud Ms. Bernardo.

In a Resolution dated December 29, 2004, the CITY PROSECUTOR DISMISSED the complaint of Ms. Bernardo. Consequently, she filed a petition for review with the Secretary of Justice. Her petition was granted by the Secretary of Justice, hence, it ordered the filing of the corresponding Informations for violations of Sections 5, 17 and 20 of P.D. No. 957. The said Informations were filed in RTC, Branch 62 in Makati City. Due to the voluntary inhibition of the presiding judge of the said court, the case was re- assigned to RTC, Branch 150.

Aggrieved, the private respondents moved for the reconsideration of the filing of the Informations against them. This time, the Secretary of Justice ruled in their favor and granted their motion in a Resolution dated November 17, 2005. Hence, pursuant to the Resolution, the Secretary of Justice ordered the City

Prosecutor to move for the withdrawal of the Informations filed before the trial court.

RTC

Acting on the motion of the City Prosecutor, the public respondent court ruled in favor of the Megaworld.

Consequently, Ms. Bernardo filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied by the trial court in dated September 8, 2006.

CA:

On 24 November 2008, the CA issued its questioned Decision upholding the 29 June 2006 and 8 September 2006 Orders of the RTC. The appellate court ruled that the RTC did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it allowed the withdrawal of the Informations filed against respondents for their alleged violation of P.D. 957. According to the CA, the trial court made an assessment and evaluation of the merits of the Motion to Withdraw the Informations independent from those of the respective findings of the Secretary of Justice and the City Prosecutor.

RULING: Petition granted.

Whether or not there is probable cause to indict respondents for allegedly violating Sections 5, 17, and 20 of P.D. 957YES.

Prosecutors have discretion and control over the criminal prosecution of offenders, as they are the officers tasked to resolve the existence of a prima facie case and probable cause that would warrant the filing of an information against the perpetrator. The process of determining whether there is probable cause is ordinarily done through the conduct of a preliminary investigation. If the prosecutor finds that the evidence he or she relies upon is insufficient for conviction, courts may not compel the former to initiate criminal prosecution or to continue prosecuting a proceeding originally initiated through a criminal complaint. Consequently, a prosecutor who moves for the dismissal of a criminal case or the withdrawal of an information for insufficiency of evidence has authority to do so, and courts that grant the motion commit no error. Furthermore, a prosecutor " may reinvestigate a case and subsequently move for the dismissal should the reinvestigation show either that the defendant is innocent or that his guilt may not be established beyond reasonable doubt."

However, once a complaint or an information is filed in court giving it jurisdiction over the criminal case, a reinvestigation thereof by the prosecutor requires prior permission from the court. If reinvestigation is allowed, the findings and recommendations of the prosecutor should be submitted to the court for appropriate action. If the prosecutor moves for the withdrawal of the information or the dismissal of the case, the court may grant or deny the motion. It may even order the trial to proceed with the proper determination

of the case on the merits, according to its sound discretion. The court "is the best and sole judge on what to do with the case before it."

(Yambot v. Armovit) The court may therefore grant or deny at its option a motion to dismiss or to withdraw the information based on its own assessment of the records of the preliminary investigation submitted to it, in the faithful exercise of judicial discretion and prerogative, and not out of subservience to the prosecutor. While it is imperative on the part of a trial judge to state his/her assessment and reasons in resolving the motion before him/her, he/she need not state with specificity or make a lengthy exposition of the factual and legal foundation relied upon to arrive at the decision.

This exercise of discretion is not unbridled, however, especially when attended with grave abuse. Grave abuse of discretion denotes "abuse of discretion too patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty, or a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or act in contemplation of law, or where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and personal hostility." It is present when there is capricious, whimsical, and arbitrary exercise of judgment, which in the eyes of the law amounts to lack of jurisdiction.

The Court found reversible error in the CA Decision upholding the 29 June 2006 and 8 September 2006 Orders of the RTC insofar as the first (violation of Section 5) and the third (violation of Section 20) Informations are concerned. The trial court committed grave abuse of discretion when it granted the motion to withdraw the first and the third Informations against respondents on the basis of a grossly erroneous interpretation and application of law.

The Court reiterates that it’s findings here are limited to the existence of probable cause to indict respondents based on the Informations filed with the RTC. As to the merits of the criminal complaints, the prosecution and the accused must be given the opportunity to present their arguments in the appropriate adversarial proceedings.

COMERCIANTE v. PEOPLE July 22, 2015 |Perlas-Bernabe, J. | Distinguish probable cause of fiscal from that of the judge Digester: Villafuerte, Beatriz C.

SUMMARY: Agent Randan and PO3 Calag were cruising at a speed of 30kph when they spotted at a distance of 10meters, two menlater identified as Comerciante and Erick Dasilla—standing and showing “improper and unpleasant movements” with one of them handing plastic sachets to the other. They arrested Comerciante and Dasilla and confiscated 2 plastic sachets containing shabu. The RTC and CA held that it was a valid warrantless arrest. However, the SC ruled that it was not a valid warrantless arrest. Therefore, Comerciante was acquitted. DOCTRINE: Officer’s personal knowledge of the fact of the commission of an offense is absolutely required for a valid warrantless arrest.

CRIME:

ACTION: Petition for review on certiorari

FACTS:

According to prosecution, at around 10pm of July 30, 2003, Agent Randan of Narcotics groupd and PO3 Bievy Calag were aboard a motorcycle, along private Road, Barangay Hulo, Mandaluyong, patrolling the are while on their way to visit a friend. They were cruising at a speed of 30kph when they spotted at a distance of 10meters, two menlater identified as Comerciante and Erick Dasillastanding and showing “improper and unpleasant movements” with one of them handing plastic sachets to the other. Thinking that these sachets contain shabu, they immediately stopped and approached Comerciante and Dasilla. At a distance of around 5 meters, PO3 Calag introduced himself as a police officer, arrested Comerciante and Dasilla and confiscated 2 plastic sachets containing white substance. A laboratory examination later confirmed that said saits contained metemphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.

July 31, 2003. Information was filed before the RTC charging Comerciante of Violation of Sec. 11, Article II of RA 9165.

RTC

Dasilla filed a demurrer to evidence, which was granted by the RTC, thus his acquittal. However, due to Comerciante’s failure to file his own demurrer to evidence, the RTC considered his right to do so waived and ordered him to present his evidence.

RTC found Comerciante guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Sec. 11, Article II, RA 9165. Sentenced him to suffer the penalty og imprisonment for 12y and 1d to 20y and ordered him to pay fine in the amount of P300,000.

RTC found that Po3 Calag conducted a valid warrantless arrest which yieleded 2 plastic sachets of shabu

There was probable cause to justify the warrantless arrest, considering that Po3 Calag saw, in plain view, that Comerciante was carrying the said sachets when he decided to approach and apprehend the latter.

Furthermore, absent any proof of intent that PO3 Calag was impelled by any malicious motive, he must be presumed to have properly performed his duty when he arrested Comerciante

CA:

CA affirmed Comerciante’s conviction

PO3 Calag had probable cause to effect the warrantless arrest given that the latter was committing a crime in flagrante delicto and that he personally saw the latter exchanging plastic sachets with Dasilla. According to CA this was enough to draw a reasonable suspicion that those sachets might be shabu. Therefore, PO3 Calag had every reason to inquire on the matter right there and then.

Comerciante filed an MR which was denied by CA

Comerciante filed this petition

RULING: Petition is granted. Comerciante is acquitted.

Whether or not the warrantless arrest by PO3 Calag was validNO. There was neither a valid warrantless arrest nor a valid stop-and-frisk search made on Comerciante.

Arguments of Comerciante: not a valid warrantless arrest. Therefore, evidence is inadmissible, necessarily resulting in his acquittal.

Argument’s OSG: Comerciante’s warrantless arrest was validly made pursuant to stop-and-frisk rule, especially considering that he was caught in flagrante delicto in possession of illegal drugs.

Sec.2, Article III of the Constitution madates 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. 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.

Exceptions to the exclusionary rule Sec.5, Rule 113, Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure

Section 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 cases falling under paragraph (a) and (b) above, the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail and shall be proceeded against in accordance with section 7 of Rule 112. (5a)

Under this provision there are 3 instances when a warrantless arrest may be lawfully effected:

(a)

arrest of a suspect in flagrante delicto

(b)

arrest of a suspect where, based on personal knowledge of the arresting officer, there is probable cause that said suspect was the perpetrator of a crime which had been just committed

(c)

Arrest of a prisoner who has escaped from custody serving final judgment or temporarily confined during the pendency of his case or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.

Sec. 5 (a) Elements (a) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act

Sec. 5 (a)

Sec. 5 (a) Elements (a) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating

Elements

(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;

 

(b)

such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting

officer

presence or within the view of the arresting officer Sec. 5 (b) (a) an offense had

Sec. 5 (b)

(a)

an offense had in fact just been committed

(b)

the arresting officer had personal knowledge of facts indicating that the

accused had committed it.

(b) the arresting officer had personal knowledge of facts indicating that the accused had committed it.

Officer’s PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE of the fact of the commission of an offense is absolutely required.

A judicious review of the factual milieu of the instant case reveals that there could have been no lawful warrantless arrest made on Comerciante.

o

Highly implausible that Po3, Calag, even assuming that he has perfect vision, would be able to identify with reasonable accuracyespecially from a distance of 10 meters, and while aboard a motorcycle cruising at a speed of 30kphminiscule amounts of white crystalline substance inside 2 very small plastic sachets held by Comerciante.

o

No other overt act could be properly attributed to Comerciante as to rouse suspicion in the mind of PO3 Calag. The acts of standing around with a companion and handling over something to the latter cannot in any way be considered criminal acts.

o

Even if comerciante and his companion were showing “improper and unpleasant movements” as put by PO3 Calag, the same would not have been sufficient in order to effect a lawful warrantless arrest.

o

That his reasonable suspicion bolstered by the fact that he has seen his fellow officers arrest persons in possession of shabu; and his trainings and seminars on illegal drugs when he was still assigned in the province are insufficient to create a conclusion that what he saw was indeed shabu.

Neither the prosecution established that the rigorous conditions set forth in Sec. 5 (b) have been complied with. (same grounds as above). Verily it is not enough that the arresting officer had reasonable ground to believe that the accused had just committed a crime; a crime must, in fact, have been committed first, which does not obtain in this case.

Requirement for a valid Stop-and Frisk as discussed in People v. Cogaed:

o

it does not have to be probable cause, but it cannot be mere suspicion. It has to be a genuine reason to serve the purposes of the stop and frisk exception.

o

Police officers must not rely on a single suspicious circumstance. There should be presence of more than one seemingly innocent activity, which, taken together, warranted a reasonable inference of criminal activity.

In the instant case, there was neither a valid warrantless arrest nor a valid stop and frisk search made on Comerciante. As such, the shabu purportedly seized from him is rendered inadmissible in evidence for being the proverbial fruit of the poisonous tree. Since the confiscated shabu is the very corpus delicti of the crime charged, Comerciante must necessarily be acquitted and exonerated from criminal liability.

SYDECO v. PEOPLE November 12, 2014 | Velasco, J. | Arrest Digester: Venturanza, Maria

SUMMARY: Upon swerving, police officers flagged down petitioner’s vehicle and asked him to alight from it. Petitioner refused and insisted on the plain view doctrine, which irked the officers. Using the empty beer bottles on the vehicle’s trunk as basis, they insisted that the petitioner was drunk and forced him out of his vehicle. They then brought him to the hospital, where they obtained a medical certificate that attested to his drunken state. Petitioner was then detained overnight and was charged with drunk driving and resisting arrest. The Court found that the police officers deviated from the given standards in apprehending traffic violators, and thus the arrest of the petitioner was unlawful. DOCTRINE: Given the deviation of the police officers from the standard and usual procedure in dealing with traffic violation by perceived drivers under the influence of alcohol and executing an arrest, the blind reliance and simplistic invocation by the trial court and the CA on the presumption of regularity in the conduct of police duty is clearly misplaced.

FACTS:

In this petition for review under Rule 45, petitioner Edmund Sydeco assails the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals that affirmed the decision of the lower courts in adjudging petitioner guilty of drunk driving and resisting arrest.

Version of the prosecution: P/Insp. Manuel Aguilar, SPO4 Bodino, PO3 Benedict Cruz III and another officer were manning a checkpoint along Roxas Boulevard when they spotted a swerving red Ford ranger pick up driven by petitioner. The officers flagged down the vehicle and asked petitioner to alight from the vehicle so that he could take a rest the police station nearby before he resumes driving. However, petitioner denied being drunk and began cursing the officers. Thus, Aguilar proceeded to arrest petitioner who put up resistance. He was then brought to the Ospital ng Maynila, where he was examined and found to be positive of alcoholic breath per the Medical Certificate.

Version of petitioner: Petitioner, along with the cook and waitress of his restaurant, was on the way home from work at around 3am when the officers flagged him down. The officers then asked the petitioner to open the vehicle’s door and alight for a body and vehicle search, a directive he refused to heed owing to a previous extortion experience. Instead, he opened the vehicle window and said, “Plain view lang boss, plain view lang.” Irked by this remark, Aguilar then told him that petitioner was drunk, pointing to three empty bottles in the trunk of the vehicle. When petitioner tried to explain that these were from his restaurant, Aguilar boxed him on the mouth and cursed at him. He was then forced out of his car and brought to the hospital, where they succeeded in securing a medical certificate under the signature of Dr. Balicating, saying that he was positive of alcoholic breath, even though was never examined. He was thereafter detained and released the next day. However, before his release, he was allowed to undergo actual medical examination where the resulting medical certificate indicated that he

has sustained physical injuries but negative for alcohol breath. Ten days later, petitioner filed his Complaint-Affidavit against Dr. Balucating, P/Insp. Aguilar and the other police officers.

The MeTc rendered judgment, finding petitioner guilty as charged. The RTC affirmed the conviction of the petitioner. The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC, saying that there was a presumption of regularity in the performance of duties by the police officers.

RULING: Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Petitioner is hereby acquitted of the crimes charged.

Whether the apprehension of the petitioner by the police officers was lawful NO.

Section 29 of RA 4136 provides:

Confiscation of Driver’s License. – Law enforcement and peace officers of other agencies duly deputized by the Director shall, in apprehending a driver for any violation of this Act or any regulations issued pursuant thereto, or of local traffic rules and regulations x x x confiscate the license of the driver concerned and issue a receipt prescribed and issued by the Bureau therefor which shall authorize the driver to operate a motor vehicle for a period not exceeding seventy-two hours from the time and date of issue of said receipt. The period so fixed in the receipt shall not be extended, and shall become invalid thereafter. x x x (Emphasis added.)

However, instead of requiring the petitioner to answer one or two routinary questions, the police officers engaged petitioner an unnecessary conversation, and when utterances not to their liking were made, they ordered the latter to step out of the vehicle, concluding after seeing three empty cases of beer at the trunk of the vehicle that petitioner was driving under the influence of alcohol. Petitioner then went on with his “plain view search” line. The remark apparently pissed the police officers, as one of them immediately lashed at petitioner and his companions as “mga lasing” and to get out of the vehicle, an incongruous response to an otherwise reasonable plea.

At the time of his apprehension, or when he was signaled to stop, petitioner has not committed any crime or suspected of having committed one.

o

Swerving is not necessarily indicative of imprudent behavior or reckless driving. To constitute the offense of reckless driving (Section 48 of RA 4136), the act must be something more than a mere negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle, and a willful and wanton disregard of the consequences is required. The circumstances of the case do not satisfy this requirement. First, nothing in the records indicates that the area was a “no swerving or overtaking zone.” Second, the incident occurred at around 3:00 a.m. when the streets are usually clear of moving vehicles and human traffic, and the danger to life, limb and property to third persons is minimal. When the police officers stopped the petitioner’s car, they did not issue any ticket for swerving as required under Section 29 of RA 4136.

o

On the crime of disobedience punished under Art. 151 of the RPC, the Court finds that its elements 1 were not satisfied. Petitioner’s act of exercising one’s

1 (1) That a person in authority or his agent is engaged in the performance of official duty or gives a lawful

right against unreasonable searches to be conducted in the middle of the night cannot be equated to disobedience, let alone resisting a lawful order.

To note, none of the police officers categorically denied the petitioner’s allegation about being physically hurt. What the policemen claimed was that it took the three (3) of them to subdue the fifty-five year old petitioner. Both actions were done in excess of their authority granted under RA 4136. Moreover, the medical certificate was in fact challenged not only because the petitioner insisted at every turn that he was not examined, but also because Dr. Balucating failed to testify as to its content.

Parenthetically, the Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila found, on the strength of another physical examination from the same Ospital ng Maynila conducted by Dr. Devega on the petitioner on the same day, probable cause for slight physical injuries against P/Insp. Aguilar et al. That finding to be sure tends to indicate that the police indeed manhandled the petitioner and belied, or at least cancelled out, the purported Dr. Balucating’s finding as to petitioner’s true state.

Conviction must come only after it survives the test of reason. It is thus required that every circumstance favoring one’s innocence be duly taken into account. Given the deviation of the police officers from the standard and usual procedure in dealing with traffic violation by perceived drivers under the influence of alcohol and executing an arrest, the blind reliance and simplistic invocation by the trial court and the CA on the presumption of regularity in the conduct of police duty is clearly misplaced. As stressed in People v. Ambrosio, the presumption of regularity is merely just that, a presumption disputable by contrary proof and which when challenged by the evidence cannot be regarded as binding truth. And to be sure, this presumption alone cannot preponderate over the presumption of innocence that prevails if not overcome by proof that obliterates all doubts as to the offender’s culpability. In the present case, the absence of conclusive proof being under the influence of liquor while driving coupled with the forceful manner the police yanked petitioner out of his vehicle argues against or at least cast doubt on the finding of guilt for drunken driving and resisting arrest.