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Issuance of arrest warrant
Samulde vs Salvani
Municipal Samulde of Patnogon, Antique, conducted a preliminary
investigation of Pelayo Arangale upon a complaint for robbery filed by Maria
Magbanua, alleging that Arangale harvested palay from a portion of her land
directly adjoining Arangale's land.
After making a preliminary investigation based on the affidavits of the
complainant and her witnesses and counter-affidavits of the respondent and his
witnesses, Judge Samulde transmitted the records of the case to Provincial
Fiscal Ramon Salvani with his finding that there is prima facie evidence of
robbery. The fiscal returned the records to Judge Samulde on the ground that the
transmittal of the records to his office was "premature" because the judge failed
to include the warrant of arrest against the accused. Samulde sent back the
records to Fiscal Salvani. He pointed out that he may issue a warrant of arrest if
he is satisfied "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, " implying thereby that, although he found that a probable cause
existed, he did not believe that Arangale should be immediately placed under
custody so as not to frustrate the ends of justice. Hence, he refused to issue a
warrant of arrest.
A mandamus was filed in the RTC Antique by Salvani against Samulde
to compel the latter to issue a warrant for the arrest of Arangale. RTC Judge
Icamina dismissed the petition for mandamus on the ground that the fiscal had
not shown that he has a clear, legal right to the performance of the act to be
required of the judge and that the latter had an imperative duty to perform it.
Nevertheless, he ordered Judge Samulde to issue a warrant for the arrest of
Arangale and to transmit the warrant, if the arrest is by virtue of a warrant, to the
Provincial Fiscal for appropriate action. He further advised the Municipal Judge
"that henceforth he adheres to the same rule in similar cases where he conducts
a preliminary investigation with a finding of probable cause. Judge Samulde
appealed to this Court.
Issue: W/N it is mandatory for the investigating judge to issue a warrant for the
arrest of the accused, after conducting a preliminary investigation, that there
exists prima facie evidence that the accused committed the crime? NO. It is
In both the 1940 and 1964 Rules of Court, it was mandatory upon the
investigating judge to issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused, if he was
satisfied that the offense charged was committed and that the accused probably
committed it. However, the rule on preliminary investigation underwent some
modifications in the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, which is the applicable
rule in this case. Under Section 1 of the present rule, the definition of the
purpose of a preliminary investigation, does not contemplate the issuance of a
warrant of arrest by the investigating judge but only for the purpose of
determining whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well founded belief
that a crime cognizable by the Regional Trial Court has been committed and that

the respondent is probably guilty.

A significant change is that under the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure
there is only one way of conducting a preliminary investigation, and that is by
affidavits and counter-affidavits submitted by the parties to the investigating
judge. On the basis of the affidavits, the investigating judge shall determine
whether or not there is sufficient ground to hold the respondent for trial. Gone is
the requirement in the 1940 and 1964 Rules of Court that "he must issue a
warrant or order" for the arrest of the defendant.
To determine whether a warrant of arrest should issue against the accused, the
investigating judge must examine the complainant and his witnesses "in writing
and under oath ... in the form of searching questions and answers." When he is
"satisfied 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 may issue the warrant
As correctly argued by the petitioner Judge Samulde, three (3)
conditions must concur for the issuance of the warrant of arrest. The
investigating judge must:
(a) have examined in writing and under oath the complainant
and his witnesses by searching questions and answers;
(b) be satisfied that a probable cause exists; and
(c) that there is a need to place the respondent under
immediatecustody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice.
It is an entirely new rule, and it is plain to see that it is not obligatory, but merely
discretionary, upon the investigating judge to issue a warrant for the arrest of the
accused. In this particular case, since the robbery charge was the offshoot of a
boundary dispute between two property owners, the investigating judge did not
believe there was any danger of the accused absconding before the filing of the
information against him by the fiscal, hence, he found no need to place him
under immediate custody.
The provincial fiscal anchored his action for mandamus on Section 5,
Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules which provides that upon the termination of the
preliminary investigation, the investigating judge should transmit to the provincial
fiscal the warrant of arrest and other records of the preliminary investigation.
From that he deduced that the investigating judge must issue a warrant for the
arrest of the accused upon the conclusion of the preliminary investigation. That
inference is not correct. The provision of Section 5, Rule 112 simply means that
the warrant of arrest, if one was issued, shall be transmitted to the fiscal with the
records of the preliminary investigation. If the investigating judge, in the exercise
of his sound discretion, decides not to issue a warrant of arrest, then none need
be transmitted to the fiscal, and he may not be compelled by mandamus.
The fiscal's speedy and adequate remedy, if he believes that the
accused should be immediately placed under custody so as not to frustrate the
ends of justice, is not to file a mandamus action, but to immediately file the
information so that the Regional Trial Court may issue a warrant for the arrest of
the accused.
RTC Judges need not personally examine complainant
Allado & Mendoza v. Hon. Diokno, 232 SCRA 192 (1994)

Petitioners Diosdado Jose Allado and Roberto L.Mendoza, alumni of the

College of law, University ofthe Philippines, are partners of the Law Firm
ofSalonga, Hernandez and Allado. In the practice oftheir profession, and on the
basis of an allegedextrajudicial confession of a security guard (Umbal), they
have been accused of the heinous crime of kidnapping with murder of a German
national named Van Twest by the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC)
and ordered arrested without bail by respondent judge.
Petitioners filed this petition and principally contended that respondent
judge acted with grave abuse of discretion and in excess of jurisdiction in
"whimsically holding that there is probable cause against petitioners without
determining the admissibility of the evidence against petitioners and without
even stating the basis of his findings," and in "relying on the Resolution of the
Panel and their certification that probable cause exists when the certification is
flawed." Petitioners maintain that the records of the preliminary investigation
which respondent judge solely relied upon failed to establish probable cause
against them to justify the issuance of the warrant of arrest. Petitioners likewise
assail the prosecutors' "clear sign of bias and partiality."
On the other hand, the Office of the Solicitor General argues that the
determination of probable cause is a function of the judge who is merely required
to personally appreciate certain facts to convince him that the accused probably
committed the crime charged.
After preliminary investigation, the Judge Roberto Diokno found probable
cause and issued a warrant of arrest without bail. The petitioners questioned the
issued warrants of arrests. They claim that Judge Diokno acted with grave abuse
of discretion and in excess of his jurisdiction as there is lack of probable cause
for him to issue the warrants. They further contend that the judge did not
personally determine the admissibility and sufficiency of the evidence where the
investigation was based from.
ISSUE: W/N the respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion in the
preliminary inquiry which determines probable cause for the issuance of a
warrant of arrest?
In the Order of respondent judge, it is expressly stated that "[t]his court
after careful evaluation of the evidence on record, believes and rules that
probable cause exists; and therefore, a warrant ofarrest should be issued.
"However, we are unable to see how respondent judge arrived at such ruling. We
have painstakingly examined the records and we cannot find any support for his
conclusion. On the contrary, we discern a number of reasons why we consider
the evidence submitted to be insufficient for a finding of probable cause against
The PACC relies heavily on the sworn statement of Security Guard
Umbal who supposedly confessed his participation in the alleged kidnapping and
murder of Van Twest. For one, there is serious doubt on VanTwest's reported
death since the corpus delicti has not been established, nor have his remains
been recovered. Umbal claims that Van Twest was completely burned into ashes
with the use of gasoline and rubber tires from around ten o'clock in the evening
to six o'clock the next morning. This is highly improbable, if not ridiculous. A

human body cannot be pulverized into ashes by simply burning it with the use of
gasoline and rubber tires in an open field. Even crematoria use entirely closed
incinerators where the corpse is subjected to intense heat. Thereafter, the
remains undergo a process where the bones are completely ground to dust.
Strangely, if not awkwardly, after Van Twest'sreported abduction which
culminated in his decimation by cremation, his counsel continued to represent
him before judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings. Hence, even Asst. Solicitor
General Estoesta believes that counsel of Van Twest doubted the latter's death.
Verily, respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing the
warrant for the arrest of petitioners it appearing that he did not personally
examine the evidence nor did he call for the complainant and his witnesses in
the face of their incredible accounts. Instead, he merely relied on the certification
of the prosecutors that probable cause existed. For, otherwise, he would have
found out thatthe evidence thus far presented was utterly insufficient to warrant
the arrest of petitioners.
In Soliven v. Makasiar, we said that the judge (a)shall personally
evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by the fiscal
regarding the existence of probable cause and, on the basis thereof, issue a
warrant of arrest; or, (b) if on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause, may
disregard the fiscal's report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of
witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion on the existence of probable
In People v. Inting, we emphasized the important features of the
constitutional mandate: (a) The determination of probable cause is a function of
the judge; it is not for the provincial fiscal or prosecutor to ascertain. Only the
judge and the judge alone makes this determination; (b) The preliminary inquiry
made by a prosecutor does not bind the judge. It merely assists him in making
the determination ofprobable cause. The judge does not have to follow what the
prosecutor presents to him. By itself, the prosecutor's certification of probable
cause is ineffectual. It is the report, the affidavits, the transcript of stenographic
notes (if any), and all other supporting documents behind the prosecutor's
certification which are material in assisting the judge in his determination of
probable cause; and, (c)Judges and prosecutors alike should distinguish the
preliminary inquiry which determines probable cause for the issuance of a
warrant of arrest from the preliminary investigation proper which
ascertainswhether the offender should be held for trial or released. Even if the
two inquiries be conducted inthe course of one and the same proceeding, there
should be no confusion about their objectives. The determination of probable
cause for the warrant is made by the judge. The preliminary investigation proper
whether or not there is reasonable ground to believe that the accused is guilty of
the offense charged and therefore, whether or not he should be subjected to the
expense, rigors and embarrassment of trial is a function of the prosecutor.
Petition granted.
Administrative warrant
Jackson v. Macalino, G.R. No. 139255, November 24, 2003
SPO3 Villaceran of the PNP filed an application with the RTC of Angeles,
Pampanga, for the issuance of a search warrant against petitioner Raymond M.

Jackson, an American citizen, a.k.a. Allen Miller, and Jaime C. Bueta for the
search and the seizure thereof for violation of Article 176 of the Revised Penal
Code. Judge Erum granted the application and issued a search warrant. The
search was conducted on the said date; articles were seized and the petitioner
and Bueta were apprehended and detained. Among the articles found in the
possession of the petitioner was a U.S. passport to and in the name of Raymond
Michael Jackson and Steven Bernard Bator. Another application for a search
warrant was filed by SPO3 Barsana, Jr. with the RTC of Makati City for violation
of Article 176 of the Revised Penal Code for the search of the premises under
the contract of Raymond Jackson a.k.a. Allen Miller and Bernard Bator and for
the seizure of the articles described therein. An Information was filed with
the against the petitioner and Bueta for violation of Article 176 of the RPC. The
Board of Commissioners issued an Order ordering the summary deportation of
the petitioner to his country of origin because the seized passports were expired.
The Makati RTC issued an order in Criminal Case No. 98-1155 directing the CID
to hold the departure of the petitioner from the in view of the pending criminal
cases against him.
The petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration with the CID for the
reconsideration of his deportation. He alleged that his status was converted into
that of a permanent resident on under Section 13-A of the Immigration Act and
that his deportation from the Philippines would deprive him of the opportunity to
defend himself in the criminal cases pending against him. The CID issued an
order denying the petitioners motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. The
petitioner alleged that could not be deported because he filed a petition to lift the
summary order of deportation with the CID which as of had not yet been
resolved, pending the issuance of clearances from the NBI and PNP, travel
documents and an airplane ticket.
The petitioner filed a petition for habeas corpus with the Court against
the Commissioner of the CID and John Doe and Jane Doe; and on the same
date, the Court issued a resolution directing the issuance of a writ of habeas
corpus. In their return filed with the RTC on July 8, 1999, the respondents
alleged inter alia that the petitioner was arrested and detained at the CID on the
basis of the summary deportation order issued by the BOC and of the hold
departure order of the Makati RTC; the petitioners petition for habeas
corpus was premature as there was a pending petition to lift the summary
deportation order before the BOC filed by him. The RTC rendered a decision
dismissing the petition of and denied his plea for a writ of habeas corpus.

court includes quasi-judicial bodies like the Deportation Board of the Bureau of
Immigration. As a general rule, the burden of proving illegal restraint by the
respondents rests on the petitioner who attaches such restraints. Whether the
return sets forth process where on its face shows good ground for the detention
of the petitioner, it is incumbent on him to allege and prove new matter that tends
to invalidate the apparent effects of such process. If it appears that the detained
person is in custody under a warrant of commitment in pursuance of law, the
return shall be considered prima facie evidence of the cause of restraint. In this
case, based on the return of the writ by the respondents, Jackson was arrested
and detained based on the order of the BOC which had become final and
executory. His passports were also cancelled by the US consul on the ground
that they were tampered with. Based on previous jurisprudence, such constitute
sufficient grounds for the arrest and deportation of aliens from the Philippines.
Hence, the petition was dismissed.
Conditions for issuance of search warrant
Olaes v. People, 155 SCRA 486 (1987)
Adolfo Olaes and Linda M. Cruz were charged for violation of the
Dangerous Drugs Act. Olaes and Cruz filed a petition for certiorari and
prohibition with preliminary injunction, challenging the admission by Judge Alicia
L. Santos (in her capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of
Olongapo City, Branch 73) of evidence seized by virtue of an allegedly invalid
search warrant and of an extrajudicial confession taken from them without
according them the right to assistance of counsel; and thus seek to restrain
further proceedings in the criminal case against them and ask that they be
acquitted with the setting aside of the questioned orders (the facts do not provide
the disposition of the said orders). Olaes and Cruz claim that the search warrant
issued by the judge is unconstitutional because it does not indicate the specific
offense they are supposed to have committed. There is, therefore, according to
them, no valid finding of probable cause as a justification for the issuance of the
said warrant in conformity with the Bill of Rights.
Issue: Whether the lack of specific section of the Dangerous Drugs Act renders
the caption vague, and negate the claim that the specific offense was committed
to serve as basis for the finding of probable cause.

Issue: WON the Commissioner of the CID can issue warrants of arrest and if so,
WON such warrants can only be issued to enforce a final order of deportation?
Section 1, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court, as amended, provides that
except as otherwise expressly provided by law, the writ of habeas corpus shall
extend to all cases of illegal confinement or detention by which any person is
deprived of his liberty, or by which the rightful custody of any person is withheld
from the person entitled thereto. The ultimate purpose of the writ of habeas
corpus is to relieve a person from unlawful restraint. It is essentially a writ of
inquiry and is granted to test the right under which he is detained. The term

No. The search warrant issued does not come under the strictures of the
Stonehill doctrine. While in the case cited, there was a bare reference to the laws
in general, without any specification of the particular sections thereof that were
alleged to have been violated out of the hundreds of prohibitions contained in
such codifications, there is no similar ambiguity herein. While it is true that the
caption of the search warrant states that it is in connection with "Violation of RA
6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Acts of 1972," it is clearly
recited in the text thereof that "There is probable cause to believe that Adolfo
Olaes alias 'Debie' and alias 'Baby' of No. 628 Comia St., Filtration, Sta. Rita,
Olongapo City, has in their possession and control and custody of marijuana
dried stalks/leaves/seeds/cigarettes and other regulated/prohibited and exempt

narcotics preparations which is the subject of the offense stated above."

Although the specific section of the Dangerous Drugs Act is not pinpointed, there
is no question at all of the specific offense alleged to have been committed as a
basis for the finding of probable cause. The search warrant also satisfies the
requirement in the Bill of Rights of the particularity of the description to be made
of the "place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized."

preparation of the records for transmittal to Branch 24 the following week. He

further asserted that the copy of the transcript in question was numbered page
5. Branch 24, however, refused to accept the referral of the case. Thus,
respondent judge forwarded the records to the OCA with a request for their
transmittal to Branch 24. The OCA later returned the records to respondent
judge as their proper custodian.

Procedure to determine probable cause to search
Chu v. Tamin, 410 SCRA 53 (2003)
Complainant alleged CENRO Dela Cruz of the DENR Region IX, applied
for a search warrant with respondent judge. CENRO dela Cruz claimed that
complainant was in possession of forest products of dubious origin in violation
of Section 68 of Presidential Decree No. 705 as amended. On the same day,
respondent judge issued Search Warrant ordering the seizure of several pieces
of mangrove lumber from complainants fishpond in Bulawan, Payao,
Zamboanga del Sur. CENRO dela Cruz, assisted by law enforcement agents,
seized from complainant 576 pieces of pagatpat lumber (mangrove specie) with
an estimated value of P183, 790. Complainant obtained a copy of the complete
records of the issuance of Search Warrant No. 364. Complainant again obtained,
for the second time, a copy of the complete records of the case; these certified
copies did not contain any transcript of respondent judges examination of
CENRO dela Cruz or his witnesses as required under Section 4, Rule 126 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Thus, complainant filed this administrative
complaint. Complainant pointed out that this was the fifth time that respondent
judge issued, under questionable procedure, search warrants against him for
violation of PD 705. Complainant alleged that the records of the four warrants did
not also contain any transcript of the required examination of witnesses.
Complainant therefore moved to quash the four warrants. Respondent judge,
however, denied the motion on the ground that he had in fact conducted such
examination but the record of the deposition was misfiled in another case
folder through inadvertence. In response to the directive of the OCA, respondent
judge, in his Second Indorsement denied complainants allegations. Respondent
judge asserted that he personally examined a certain Reynaldo Cuaresma,
allegedly a witness of CENRO dela Cruz, before issuing the warrant in question.
In his Report, RTC Pagadian City Executive Judge Franklyn A. Villegas stated
that he verified the records of Search Warrant No. 364 in Branch 23. He found
on page 5 of the records a copy of the transcript of the examination conducted
by respondent judge on one Reynaldo Cuaresma. He attached in his report the
explanations of respondent judge and Clerk of Court Lumapas. In his
explanation, respondent judge reiterated the claim he made in his Indorsement
of 16 December 1999 that he examined a certain Reynaldo Cuaresma before
issuing Search Warrant No. 364. He explained that the records of the case
contained a copy of the transcript of the examination. However, respondent
judge alleged, for the first time, that the legal researcher in his office who
prepared the duplicate copy issued to complainant failed, through pure
inadvertence, to recopy such transcript. Respondent judge attributed such
omission to the fact that at that time, the pages of the records were not yet
physically paged. He claimed that the pages were numbered only upon

ISSUE: W/N respondent judge liable for gross ignorance of the law?
Yes. The judge must, before issuing the warrant, personally examine in
the form of searching questions and answers, in writing and under oath, the
complainant and the witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to
them and attach to the record their sworn statements, together with the affidavits
submitted. This provision implements the proscription against unreasonable
searches and seizures found in Section 2, Article III of the Constitution. A Judge
is called upon to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with the statutes
and procedural rules. It is imperative that he be studious of and conversant with
basic legal principles. He owes it to the dignity of the court he sits in, to the legal
profession he belongs, and to the public who depends on him, to know the law
which he is called upon to apply. Not only that, there would be on the part of the
litigants less expense and greater faith in the administration of justice if there be
a belief on their part that the occupants of the bench cannot justly be accused of
apparent deficiency in their grasp of legal principles.
Respondent judge explained that in issuing Search Warrant No. 364, he
complied with the rule that he must personally examine in the form of searching
questions and answers, in writing and under oath, the complainant and the
witnesses. Respondent judge stated, however, that the certified copies of the
records obtained by complainant did not include the transcript of his examination
because the clerical staff in his office who prepared the certified copies
inadvertently failed to do so. This explanation fails to persuade us. If, as
respondent judge claims, he personally examined a certain Cuaresma as the
witness of CENRO dela Cruz, he should have secured the affidavit of Cuaresma.
Respondent judge should also have secured the affidavit of the unnamed legal
researcher who allegedly prepared the copies of the records obtained by
complainant. Respondent judge failed to secure their affidavits to corroborate his
claims. Lastly, respondent judge should have shown Executive Judge Villegas,
during the latters investigation, the magnetic (hard disk) copy of the transcript
allegedly stored in his office computer. These omissions bolster complainants
claim and correspondingly weaken respondent judges defense. As it is, other
than respondent judges bare claim that he examined a certain Cuaresma, the
only proof on record in his favor is an unsigned computer printout of the alleged
record of the examination. Considering that any one can easily create and print
out such document, it does not suffice to exculpate respondent judge from
administrative liability.
We uphold the OCAs findings that respondent judge, who had earlier
professed ignorance of the rule in question, failed either to examine any witness
before issuing Search Warrant No. 364 or to reduce the examination in writing.
His omission renders him liable for gross ignorance of the law.

Particular description of things to be seized
Nala v. Barroso, 408 SCRA 529 (2003)
On June 25, 2001, PO3 Macrino L. Alcoser together with his witness
Ruel Nalagon applied for the issuance of a warrant to search the person and
residence of petitioner Bernard R. Nala, who was referred to in the application as
Rumolo Nala alias Long of Purok 4, Poblacion, Kitaotao, Bukidnon. The
application was filed in connection with petitioners alleged illegal possession of
one caliber .22 magnum and one 9 mm. pistol in violation of Illegal Possession of
Firearms. On the same day, respondent Presiding Judge of RTC of Malaybalay
City, issued Search and Seizure Warrant .On July 4, 2001, at around 6:30 in the
morning, Alcoser and other police officer search the petitioners house and
allegedly seized the following: (1) one piece caliber .38 revolver (snub-nose) with
Serial Number 1125609; (2) one pc. Fragmentation grenade (cacao type); (3)
one pc. .22 long barrel; (4) 5- pcs live ammunition for caliber .38 revolver; and
(5) 4- four pcs. of disposable lighter and unestimated numbers of cellophane
used for packing of shabu. Petitioner questioned the validity of the search
warrant and filed an Omnibus Motion to Quash but was denied by the judge.
Lower court found that probable cause was duly established from the deposition
and examination of witness Ruel Nalagon and the testimony of PO3 Alcoser who
personally conducted a surveillance to confirm the information given by Nalagon.
The fact that the items seized were not exactly the items listed in the warrant
does not invalidate the same because the items seized bear a direct relation to
the crime of illegal possession of firearms. Respondent judge also found that
petitioner was sufficiently identified in the warrant although his first name was
erroneously stated therein as Romulo and not Bernard, considering that the
warrant was couched in terms that would make it enforceable against the person
and residence of petitioner and no other.
(1) Was petitioner sufficiently described in the search and seizure warrant?
(2) Was there probable cause for the issuance of a search and seizure warrant
against petitioner?
(3) Whether or not the firearms and explosive allegedly found in petitioners
residence are admissible in evidence against him even though said firearms
were not listed in the search and seizure warrant. Immaterial due to a void
search warrant.
(1) YES. the failure to correctly state in the search and seizure warrant the first
name of petitioner, which is Bernard and not Romulo or Rumolo, does not
invalidate the warrant because the additional description alias Lolong Nala who
is said to be residing at Purok 4, Poblacion, Kitaotao, Bukidnon sufficiently
enabled the police officers to locate and identify the petitioner. . What is
prohibited is a warrant against an unnamed party, and not one which, as in the
instant case, contains a descriptio personae that will enable the officer to identify
the accused without difficulty.
(2) NO. Nowhere in the affidavit and testimony of witness Ruel Nalagon nor in
PO3 Macrino L. Alcosers application for the issuance of a search warrant was it
mentioned that petitioner had no license to possess a firearm. PO3 Alcoser and

his witness Ruel Nalagon did not have personal knowledge but only
personal belief of petitioners lack of license to possess firearms, ammunitions
and explosives; and did not adduce the evidence required to prove the existence
of probable cause. Hence, the search and seizure warrant issued on the basis of
the evidence presented is void.
(3) The settled rule is that where entry into the premises to be searched was
gained by virtue of a void search warrant, prohibited articles seized in the course
of the search are inadmissible against the accused. Prohibited articles may be
seized but only as long as the search is valid. In this case, it was not because: 1)
there was no valid search warrant; and 2) absent such a warrant, the right
thereto was not validly waived by the petitioner. In short, the military officers who
entered the petitioners premises had no right to be there and therefore had no
right either to seize the pistol and bullets.
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the petition is GRANTED. Search
and Seizure Warrant is declared VOID and the articles seized by virtue thereof
are declared inadmissible in evidence.
Warrantless search
Incident to lawful arrest
Senson v. Pangilinan, 410 SCRA 394 (2003)
FACTS: On 14 March 2000, several persons were apprehended for violation of
Section 86 of Republic Act No. 8550, also known as The Philippine Fisheries
Code of 1998[1] by members of the Philippine National Police. The items seized
from those arrested included (a) 1 unit fish net, (b) 36 units lights (300 watts), (c)
1 unit light (500 watts), (d) 1 unit buoy, (e) 7 containers, (f) 7 plastic container
boxes, (g) 4 styropore boxes, and (h) 10 boxes of fish. On the same day,
Criminal Case No.15019 against them was filed. Three days later, Danilo Alayon
and Norma Villarosa, asserting to be the co-owners of the M/B King Fisher that
was used in the illegal fishing activity, filed an Urgent Motion for Custody of
Fishing Net, alleging that the fish net which costs no less than P600,000.00 was
left unattended at the beach exposed to the elements and movements of the sea
which could cause its early deterioration and ultimate loss. Respondent Judge,
despite the vigorous objection of the public prosecutor, granted the motion in his
order of 22 March 2000, in part, to the following effect To obviate their possible loss, destruction and/or deterioration, pending
resolution of the above-captioned case, the apprehending officers or whoever
has the custody, are ordered to cause the immediate turn over of the following
items to movants who undertake to produce the same whenever needed in
court, as they can only be properly confiscated in favor of the government upon
conviction of the accused.
1. 1 unit fish net
2. 36 units lights (300 watts)
3. 1 unit light (500 watts)

4. 1 unit buoy
5. 7 containers
6. 7 plastic container boxes
7. 4 styropore boxes
8. 10 boxes of fish
The public prosecutor filed, on 24 March 2000, a motion for reconsideration.
Instead of deciding the pending motion, respondent Judge deferred its resolution
until after the arraignment of the accused and the pretrial of the case would have
been had.[2]
Special Prosecutor Romeo B. Senson filed an administrative complaint against
respondent Judge for Gross Misconduct with Prayer for Preventive Suspension
asseverating that the release of the evidence had exposed said evidence to
tampering and that the deferment of the resolution of the motion for
reconsideration virtually resulted in the undue archive of the case.
In his comment, respondent contended that Republic Act No. 8550, the law
under which the accused were charged with having transgressed, did not
provide for the seizure of the fishing paraphernalia pending trial and that the
prosecution still could prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt
even without the evidence being presented since it had sufficient witnesses for
the purpose.
ISSUE: Was the seizure of fishing paraphernalia lawful?
HELD: Yes. As the Office of the Court Administrator has so correctly pointed out,
while it can be argued that the remedy is judicial in nature or that the case
involves an error in judgment, Rule 127, Section 12, of the Rules of Court
(however), is much too elementary to be brushed aside (and that) x x x the
existence of a judicial remedy does not (necessarily) preclude resort to an
administrative remedy. Nowhere in the statute would it appear that the seizure of
the items, alleged to have been used in the illegal fishing activity, is proscribed
by it. Evidently, the seizure of the fishing paraphernalia has been made as being
an incident to a lawful arrest. Rule 127, Section 12, of the Rules of Court[3]
SEC. 12. Search incident to lawful arrest.- A person lawfully arrested may be
searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the
commission of an offense, without a search warrant.
In Arsenio N. Roldan, Jr. vs. Francisco Arca,[4] where the crew of certain fishing
vessels were caught, in flagrante, illegally fishing with dynamite and without the
requisite license, their apprehension without a warrant of arrest and the seizure
of the vessel, as well as its equipment and the dynamites found therein, as an
incident to a lawful arrest was held to be lawful.
All criminal actions commenced by a complaint or information are prosecuted
under the direction and control of the prosecutor.[5] The seized items ordered

released by respondent Judge have not yet been offered in evidence; hence, the
prosecution, not the court, could still be deemed to be in the legal custody and to
have the responsibility over such items.[6] The pronouncement by the Court in
Vlasons Enterprises Corporation vs. Court of Appeals[7] is instructive; viz:
x x x The outcome of the criminal action will dictate the disposition of the seized
property. If found to be contraband, i.e., articles the possession of which, without
more, constitutes a crime and the repossession of which would subject
defendant to criminal penalties and frustrate the express policy against the
possession of such objects, they will not be returned, but shall be confiscated in
favor of the State or destroyed, as the case may be. If not contraband, the
property shall be returned without undue delay to the person who appears from
the evidence to be the owner or rightful possessor.
Routinary searches at airports
People v. Johnson, GR No 138881, December 18, 2000
FACTS: Leila Reyes Johnson was, at the time of the incident, 58 years old, a
widow, and a resident of Ocean Side, California, U.S.A. She is a former Filipino
citizen who was naturalized as an American on 16 June 1968 and had since
been working as a registered nurse, taking care of geriatric patients and those
with Alzheimer's disease, in convalescent homes in the United States. On 16
June 1998, she arrived in the Philippines to visit her son's family in Calamba,
Laguna. She was due to fly back to the United States on July 26. On July 25,
she checked in at the Philippine Village Hotel to avoid the traffic on the way to
the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and checked out at 5:30 p.m. the
next day, 26 June 1998. At around 7:30 p.m. of that day, Olivia Ramirez was on
duty as a lady frisker at Gate 16 of the NAIA departure area. Her duty was to
frisk departing passengers, employees, and crew and check for weapons,
bombs, prohibited drugs, contraband goods, and explosives. When she frisked
Johnson, a departing passenger bound for the United States via Continental
Airlines CS-912, she felt something hard on the latter's abdominal area. Upon
inquiry, Mrs. Johnson explained she needed to wear two panty girdles as she
had just undergone an operation as a result of an ectopic pregnancy. Not
satisfied with the explanation, Ramirez reported the matter to her superior, SPO4
Reynaldo Embile, saying "Sir, hindi po ako naniniwalang panty lang po iyon."
She was directed to take Johnson to the nearest women's room for inspection.
Ramirez took Johnson to the rest room, accompanied by SPO1 Rizalina Bernal.
Embile stayed outside. Inside the women's room, Johnson was asked again by
Ramirez what the hard object on her stomach was and Johnson gave the same
answer she had previously given. Ramirez then asked her "to bring out the thing
under her girdle." Johnson brought out three plastic packs, which Ramirez then
turned over to Embile, outside the women's room. The confiscated packs
contained a total of 580.2 grams of a substance which was fount by NBI Chemist
George de Lara to be methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu." Embile took
Johnson and the plastic packs to the 1st Regional Aviation and Security Office
(1st RASO) at the arrival area of the NAIA, where Johnson's passport and ticket
were taken and her luggage opened. Pictures were taken and her personal
belongings were itemized. Johnson was charged for the possession of 3 plastic
bages of methamphetamine hydrochloride, a regulated drug, weighing a total of

580.2 grams; a violation of 16 of RA 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act), as amended

by RA 7659. On 14 May 1999, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 110, Pasay City,
found Johnson guilty and sentenced her to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua and to pay a fine of P500,000.00 and the costs of the suit. Johnson
ISSUE: Whether the extensive search made on Johnson at the airport violates
her right against unreasonable search and seizure.
RULING: The constitutional right of the accused was not violated as she was
never placed under custodial investigation but was validly arrested without
warrant pursuant to the provisions of Section 5, Rule 113 of tie 1985 Rules of
Criminal Procedure which provides that "A peace officer or a private person may,
without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) when in his presence, the person to be
arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an
offense; (b) when an offense has in fact just been committed and person to be
arrested has committed it; and xxx." The circumstances surrounding the arrest of
the accused falls in either paragraph (a) or (b) of the Rule above cited, hence the
allegation that she has been subjected to custodial investigation is far from being
accurate. The methamphetamine hydrochloride seized from her during the
routine frisk at the airport was acquired legitimately pursuant to airport security
procedures. Persons may lose the protection of the search and seizure clause
by exposure of their persons or property to the public in a manner reflecting a
lack of subjective expectation of privacy, which expectation society is prepared to
recognize as reasonable. Such recognition is implicit in airport security
procedures. With increased concern over airplane hijacking and terrorism has
come increased security at the nation's airports. Passengers attempting to board
an aircraft routinely pass through metal detectors; their carry-on baggage as well
as checked luggage are routinely subjected to x-ray scans. Should these
procedures suggest the presence of suspicious objects, physical searches are
conducted to determine what the objects are. There is little question that such
searches are reasonable, given their minimal intrusiveness, the gravity of the
safety interests involved, and the reduced privacy expectations associated with
airline travel. Indeed, travelers are often notified through airport public address
systems, signs, and notices in their airline tickets that they are subject to search
and, if any prohibited materials or substances are found, such would be subject
to seizure. These announcements place passengers on notice that ordinary
constitutional protections against warrantless searches and seizures do not
apply to routine airport procedures. The packs of methamphetamine
hydrochloride having thus been obtained through a valid warrantless search,
they are admissible in evidence against Johnson. Corollarily, her subsequent
arrest, although likewise without warrant, was justified since it was effected upon
the discovery and recovery of "shabu" in her person in flagrante delicto.
People v. Canton, GR No 148825, December 27, 2002
On February 12, 1998, at about 1:30 p. m., Susan Canton was at the
Ninoy Aquino International Airport, being a departing passenger bound for
Saigon, Vietnam. When the metal detector alarmed while Susan was passing

through, Mylene Cabunoc, a civilian employee of the National Action Committee

on Hijacking and Terrorism (NACHT) and the frisker on duty at that time, made a
pat down search on the former. Upon Frisking, Susan, Mylene felt something
bulging at her abdominal area and when the latter inserted her hand under the
skirt of Susan, She noticed that the packages contained what felt like rice
granules. Mylene then reported the matter tom SPO4 Victorio de los Santos, her
supervisor on duty. The supervisor then instructed Mylene to call Customs
Examiner Lorna Jalac and bring Susan to a comfort room for a thorough physical
investigation. Upon further frisking, Mylene and Lorna discovered three
packages individually wrapped and sealed in grey colored packing tape which
Susan voluntarily handed to them. Mylene turned over the packages to SPO4 De
los Santos and after laboratory examination, it yielded positive results for
methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, a regulated drug.
SPO2 Jerome Cause, an investigator of the First Regional Aviation
Office, testified that no investigation was ever conducted on Susan. However,
Susan signed a receipt of the following articles seized from her: (1) three bags of
methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu approximately 1,100 grams; (2) one
American passport bearing Number 700389994; (3) one Continental Micronesia
plane ticket with stock control number 0414381077; and (4) two panty
girdles. He said that he informed Susan of her constitutional rights but admitted
that she did not have a counsel when she signed the receipt. Yet he told her that
she had the option to sign or not to sign the receipt.
Whether or not the search conducted on Susan was incidental to a lawful
Whether or not the scope of a search pursuant to airport security is
confined only to search weapons under Terry Search doctrine.
Whether or not Susan was lawfully arrested without a warrant.
Whether or not the constitutional right to counsel afforded an accused
under custodial investigation was violated.
Whether or not Susans conviction and penalty on her are correct.
The Supreme Court did not agree with the trial court and the OSG that
the search and seizure conducted in this case were incidental to a lawful arrest.
In a search incidental to a lawful arrest, the law requires that there be first a
lawful arrest before a search can be made; the process cannot be
reversed. Susans arrest did not precede the search. . It was only after the strip
search upon the discovery by the police officers of the white crystalline
substances inside the packages, which they believed to be shabu, that SUSAN
was arrested.
Under Section 9 of Republic Act No. 6235, the provision is clear that
the search, unlike in the Terry search, is not limited to weapons.
The Terry search or the stop and frisk situation refers to a case where a police
officer approaches a person who is acting suspiciously, for purposes of
investigating possibly criminal behavior in line with the general interest of
effective crime prevention and detection. To assure himself that the person with
whom he is dealing is not armed with a weapon that could unexpectedly and

fatally be used against him, he could validly conduct a carefully limited search of
the outer clothing of such person to discover weapons which might be used to
assault him. In this case, after the metal detector alarmed Susan, R.A. No. 6235
authorizes search for prohibited materials or substances. Thus, the strip search
in the ladies room was justified under the circumstance.
Warrantless search and seizure were legal. Armed with the
knowledge that Susan was committing a crime, the airport security personnel
and police authorities were duty-bound to arrest her, under paragraph (a) of
Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court.
As testified to by the lone witness for the defense, SPO2 Jerome
Cause, no custodial investigation was conducted after Susans arrest. She
affixed her signature to the receipt of the articles seized from her, but before she
did so, she was told that she had the option to sign or not to sign it. In any
event, her signature to the packages was not relied upon by the prosecution to
prove its case. Moreover, no statement was taken from her during her detention
and used in evidence against her. Hence, her claim of violation of her right to
counsel has no leg to stand on.
As regards the fine, courts may fix any amount within the limits
established by law. For possession of regulated drugs, the law fixes the range of
the fine from P500,000 to P10 million. In view of the net weight of
methamphetamine hydrochloride found in the possession of Susan, the trial
courts imposition of fine in the amount of P1 million is well within the range
prescribed by law.
Susan Canton was found guilty beyong reasonable doubt of the
violation of Section 16, Article III of the Dangerous Act of 1972 ( Republic Act No.
6425) as amended and sentenced her to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua and pay a fine of One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00). The appellants
passport, plane tickets, and girdles are hereby ordered to be returned to her.
Moving vehicles
Caballes v. CA, 373 SCRA 221 (2002)
While on a routine patrol in Brgy. Sampalucan, Pagsanjan, Laguna, Sgt.
Victorino Nocejo and Pat. Alex de Castro spotted a passenger jeep unusually
covered with kakawati leaves. Suspecting that the jeep was loaded with
smuggled goods, the two officers flagged down the vehicle. Being the driver of
the jeep, Caballes was asked by the officers as to what was loaded in the jeep,
to which he did not respond, appearing pale and nervous. The officers checked
the cargo and discovered bundles of galvanized conductor wires exclusively
owned by National Power Corporation. Caballes and the vehicle with the highvoltage wires were brought to the Pagsanjan Police Station, where he was
imprisoned for 7 days. The trial court found Caballes guilty of the crime of Theft
of property. Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial courts judgment
of conviction.
Whether or not the evidence taken from the warrantless search is admissible
against Caballes.

No; the evidence are not admissible in evidence.
The constitutional proscription against warrantless searches and seizures is not
absolute, but admits of certain exceptions. The situation in the case at bar does
not fall under any of the accepted exceptions.
Search of a moving vehicle
The rules governing searches and seizures of moving vehicles have been
liberalized for the purposes of practicality. Obtaining a warrant for a moving
vehicle is particularly difficult for want of a specific description of the place,
things, and persons to be searches. Also, it is not practicable to secure a warrant
because the vehicle can be quickly moved out of the jurisdiction in which the
warrant must be sought. Still, however, there must be probable cause to conduct
such warrantless search. One form of search of moving vehicles is the stopand-search without warrant at checkpoints, which has been declared as not
illegal per se, for as long as it is warranted by the exigencies of public order and
conducted in a way least intrusive to motorists. A checkpoint may either be a
mere routine inspection or it may involve an extensive search. Routine
inspections are not regarded as violative of an individuals right against
unreasonable search. The circumstances in this case, however, do not constitute
a routine inspection. They had to reach inside the vehicle, lift the leaves and look
inside the sacks before they were able to see the cable wires. When a vehicle is
stopped and subjected to an extensive search, such a search would be
constitutionally permissible only if the officers have probable cause to believe
that either the motorist is a law-offender or they will find the instrumentality or
evidence pertaining to a crime in the vehicle to be searched. In this case, the
officers flagged down the jeep because they became suspicious when they saw
that the back of the vehicle was covered with kakawati leaves, which, to them,
was unusual and uncommon. The Court believes that the fact that the vehicle
looked suspicious simply because it is not common for such to be covered in
kakawati leaves does not constitute probable cause to justify a search without a
warrant. In addition, there was no tip or confidential information that could have
backed up their search, as jurisprudence is replete with cases where tipped
information has become sufficient to constitute probable cause.
Plain view doctrine
It is clear from the records that the cable wires were not exposed to sight
because they were placed in sacks andcovered with leaves. They had no clue as
to what was underneath the leaves. Object was not in plain view which could
have justified mere seizure without further search.
Consented search
At most, there was only implied acquiescence, a mere passive conformity, which
is no consent at all within the purview of the constitutional guarantee. Evidence
is lacking that Caballes intentionally surrendered his right against unreasonable