Sei sulla pagina 1di 114

Morfe v.

Mutuc
22 SCRA 424, January 31, 1968
J. Fernando

Facts: Section 7 of Republic Act No. 3019 (R.A. 3019), provides that “every public officer,
...after his assumption to office and within the month of January of every other year thereafter, as
well as upon the termination of his position, shall prepare and file with the head of the office to
which he belongs, a true detailed and sworn statement of assets and liabilities, including a
statement of the amounts and sources of his income, the amounts of his personal and family
expenses and the amount of income taxes paid for the next preceding calendar year...”
Jesus Morfe, disputing that such requirement is violative of due process as an oppressive
exercise of police power and as an unlawful invasion of the constitutional right to privacy,
implicit in the ban against unreasonable search and seizure construed together with the
prohibition against self-incrimination, filed a petition for declaratory relief before the Court of
First Instance (CFI) of Pangasinan. After the submission of pleadings and stipulation of facts, the
CFI found for Morfe, affirming that the requirement of periodical submission of such sworn
statement of assets and liabilities exceeds the permissible limit of the police power and is thus
offensive to the due process clause – hence, Section 7 of R.A. 3019 is unconstitutional.
Aggrieved, Executive Secretary Amelito Mutuc appealed the decision of the CFI before
the Supreme Court.

Issue: Whether or not, the requirement of periodical submission of the sworn statement of assets
and liabilities, pursuant to R.A. 3019, exceeds the permissible limit of the State’s police power
and is thus offensive to the due process clause?

Ruling: No. Nothing can be clearer than that R.A. 3019 was precisely aimed at curtailing and
minimizing the opportunities for official corruption and maintaining a standard of honesty in the
public service. It is intended to further promote morality in public administration. A public office
must indeed be a public trust. Nobody can cavil at its objective; the goal to be pursued
commands the assent of all. The conditions then prevailing called for norms of such character.
The times demanded such a remedial device.
In the absence of a factual foundation, the presumption of a statute’s validity must prevail
over mere pleadings and stipulation of facts (Ermita-Malate Hotel, et. al. v. Mayor of Manila).
While in the attainment of attainment of such public good, no infringement of constitutional
rights is permissible, there must be a showing, clear, categorical, and undeniable that what the
Constitution condemns, the statute allows.
While the soundness of the assertion that a public office is a public trust and as such not
amounting to property in its usual sense cannot be denied, there can be no disputing the
proposition that from the standpoint of the security of tenure guaranteed by the Constitution the
mantle of protection afforded by due process could rightfully be invoked.
Legislative Investigation
Sabio Vs. Gordon

FACTS:

On February 20, 2006, Sen. M. Defensor-Santiago introduced Philippine Senate Resolution No.
455 "directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous losses incurred by the
Philippines Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC), Philippine Communications
Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation (PHC) due to
the alleged improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of Directors."

Said Resolution was referred to the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and
Investigations and Committee on Public Services. It was then transferred to the Committee on
Government Corporations and Public Enterprises upon motion of Sen. F.Pangilinan.

On May 8, 2006, Chief of Staff Rio C. Inocencio, under the authority of Senator R. Gordon,
wrote Chairman Camilo L. Sabio of the PCGG, inviting him to be one of the resource persons in
the public meeting jointly conducted by the Committee on Government Corporations and Public
Enterprises and Committee on Public Services for the deliberation of the Senate Resolution.

On May 9, 2006, Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment. At the same time,
he invoked Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 that “ No member or staff of the Commission shall be
required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding
concerning matters within its official cognizance."

Sen. Gordon issued a Subpoena Ad Testificandum requiring Sabio and PCGG Commissioners
Ricardo Abcede, Nicasio Conti, Tereso Javier and Narciso Nario to appear in the public hearing
and testify on what they know relative to the matters specified in Senate Resolution.

Similar subpoenae were issued against the directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings.

Again, Chairman Sabio refused to appear. He sent a letter to Sen. Gordon invoking Section 4(b)
of E.O. No. 1. On the other hand, the directors of Philcomstat Holdings raised the issues on the
proper legislative inquiry.

Another notice was sent to Sabio requiring him to appear and testify on the same subject matter
but the same did not comply. Sabio again sent a letter reiterating his position.

This prompted Senator Gordon to issue an Order requiring Chairman Sabio and Commissioners
Abcede, Conti, Javier and Nario to show cause why they should not be cited in contempt of the
Senate.

Unconvinced with the Compliance and Explanation, the Committee on Government


Corporations and Public Enterprises and the Committee on Public Services issued an Order
directing Major General Jose Balajadia (Ret.), Senate Sergeant-At-Arms, to place Chairman
Sabio and his Commissioners under arrest for contempt of the Senate.
Sabio was arrested.

Hence, he filed with the Supreme Court a petition for habeas corpus against the Senate
Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public
Services, their Chairmen, Senators Richard Gordon and Joker P. Arroyo and Members.

He together with Commissioners Abcede, Conti, Nario, and Javier, and the PCGG's nominees to
Philcomsat Holdings Corporation, Manuel Andal and Julio Jalandoni filed a petition for
certiorari and prohibition against the same respondents, and also against Senate President
Manuel Villar, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, the Sergeant-at-Arms, and the entire Senate.

Meanwhile, Philcomsat Holdings Corporation and its officers and directors, filed a petition for
certiorari and prohibition against the Senate Committees on Government Corporations and
Public Enterprises and Public Services, their Chairmen, Senators Gordon and Arroyo, and
Members.

Sabio and the PCGG Commissioners alleged that:

1. Respondent Senate Committees disregarded Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 without any
justifiable reason;
2. The inquiries conducted by respondent Senate Committees are not in aid of legislation;
3. The inquiries were conducted in the absence of duly published Senate Rules of Procedure
Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation; and
4. Respondent Senate Committees are not vested with the power of contempt.

Philcomsat Holdings Corporation and its directors and officers alleged:

1. Respondent Senate Committees have no jurisdiction over the subject matter stated in
Senate Res. No. 455;
2. The same inquiry is not in accordance with the Senate's Rules of Procedure Governing
Inquiries in Aid of Legislation;
3. The subpoenae against the individual petitioners are void for having been issued without
authority;
4. The conduct of legislative inquiry pursuant to Senate Res. No. 455 constitutes undue
encroachment by respondents into justiciable controversies over which several courts and
tribunals have already acquired jurisdiction; and
5. The subpoenae violated petitioners' rights to privacy and against self-incrimination.

In their Comment, the respondents countered the petitioners’ arguments:

1. the issues raised in the petitions involve political questions over which SC has no
jurisdiction
2. Section 4(b) has been repealed by the Constitution;
3. Respondent Senate Committees are vested with contempt power;

4. Senate's Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation have been duly
published;

5. Respondents have not violated any civil right of the individual petitioners, such as their
(a) right to privacy; and (b) right against self-incrimination; and

6. The inquiry does not constitute undue encroachment into justiciable controversies.

ISSUES:

WON Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 constitutes a limitation on the power of legislative inquiry, and
a recognition by the State of the need to provide protection to the PCGG in order to ensure the
unhampered performance of its duties under its charter.

HELD:

Petition for Habeas Corpus has became moot because Sabio was allowed to go home.

Perched on one arm of the scale of justice is Article VI, Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution
granting respondent Senate Committees the power of legislative inquiry. It reads:

The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may
conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of
procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be
respected.

On the other arm of the scale is Section 4(b) of E.O. No.1 limiting such power of legislative
inquiry by exempting all PCGG members or staff from testifying in any judicial, legislative or
administrative proceeding, thus:

No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify or produce evidence in


any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its
official cognizance.

Arnault vs. Nazareno :

“The power of inquiry – with process to enforce it – is an essential and appropriate


auxiliary to the legislative function. A legislative body cannot legislate wisely or
effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislation is
intended to affect or change; and where the legislation body does not itself possess the
requisite information – which is not infrequently true – recourse must be had to others
who possess it."
The Court's high regard to such power is rendered more evident in Senate v. Ermita, where it
categorically ruled that "the power of inquiry is broad enough to cover officials of the executive
branch." Verily, the Court reinforced the doctrine in Arnault that "the operation of government,
being a legitimate subject for legislation, is a proper subject for investigation" and that "the
power of inquiry is co-extensive with the power to legislate."

Considering these jurisprudential instructions, The Court find Section 4(b) directly
repugnant with Article VI, Section 21. Section 4(b) exempts the PCGG members and staff
from the Congress' power of inquiry. This cannot be countenanced. Nowhere in the
Constitution is any provision granting such exemption. The Congress' power of inquiry,
being broad, encompasses everything that concerns the administration of existing laws as
well as proposed or possibly needed statutes. It even extends "to government agencies
created by Congress and officers whose positions are within the power of Congress to
regulate or even abolish." PCGG belongs to this class.

Certainly, a mere provision of law cannot pose a limitation to the broad power of Congress,
in the absence of any constitutional basis.

Furthermore, Section 4(b) is also inconsistent with Article XI, Section 1 of the Constitution
stating that: "Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be
accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and
efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives."

En Banc

Malaloan v. CA

GR No. 104879

May 6, 1994

Regalado, J:

Facts: A search warrant was sought for in connection with an alleged violation of PD1866 (Illegal Possession of Firearms and
Ammunitions) perpetrated in Quezon City. The application for search warrant however was made in Caloocan City.
The petitioners, Malaloan and Luarez, were the ones indicted by virtue of the said search warrant. Information was
filed against them for violation of PD1866. Petitioners assailed the validity of the search warrant since it was applied in
Caloocan City which was outside the territorial jurisdiction of Quezon City.

Issue: Whether or not a court may take cognizance of an application for a search warrant in connection with an offense
allegedly committed outside its territorial jurisdiction
Held: Yes, the court may take cognizance and may issue a search warrant even if the offense is committed outside its
territorial jurisdiction

Ratio: A search warrant is merely a judicial process designed by the Rules to respond only to an incident in the main case, if
one has already been instituted, or in anticipation thereof. In the latter contingency, as in the case at bar, it would
involve some judicial clairvoyance to require observance of the rules as to where a criminal case may eventually be
filed where, in the first place, no such action having as yet been instituted, it may ultimately be filed in a territorial
jurisdiction other than that wherein the illegal articles sought to be seized are then located. This is aside from the
consideration that a criminal action may be filed in different venues under the rules for delitos continuados or in those
instances where different trial courts have concurrent original jurisdiction over the same criminal offense.

Other contentions:
Petitioners used the following circulars to justify their contention that a search warrant must be applied in Quezon City
if the illegal articles sought are in Quezon City. Circular No. 13, Circular No. 19 and Administrative Order No. 3

Circular No. 13 and 19


Both circulars were not intended to be of general application to all instances involving search warrants and in all courts
as would be the case if they had been adopted as part of the Rules of Court. These circulars were issued by the Court to
meet a particular exigency, that is, as emergency guidelines on applications for search warrants filed only in the courts
of Metropolitan Manila and other courts with multiple salas and only with respect to violations of the Anti-Subversion
Act, crimes against public order under the Revised Penal Code, illegal possession of firearms and/or ammunitions, and
violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act. In other words, the aforesaid theory on the court's jurisdiction to issue search
warrants would not apply to single-sala courts and other crimes. Accordingly, the rule sought by petitioners to be
adopted by the Court would actually result in a bifurcated procedure which would be vulnerable to legal and
constitutional objections.
Administrative Order No. 3

For that matter, neither can we subscribe to petitioners' contention that Administrative Order No. 3 of this Court,
supposedly "defining the limits of the territorial jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts," was the source of thesubject
matter jurisdiction of, as distinguished from the exercise of jurisdiction by, the courts. As earlier observed, this
administrative order was issued pursuant to the provisions of Section 18 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, the pertinent
portion of which states:

Sec. 18. Authority to define territory appurtenant to each branch. — The Supreme Court shall define the
territory over which a branch of the Regional Trial Court shall exercise its authority. The territory thus
defined shall be deemed to be the territorial area of the branch concerned for purposes of determining the
venue of all writs, proceedings or actions, whether civil or criminal, . . . . (Emphasis ours.)

Jurisdiction is conferred by substantive law, in this case Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, not by a procedural law and, much
less, by an administrative order or circular. The jurisdiction conferred by said Act on regional trial courts and their
judges is basically regional in scope. Thus, Section 17 thereof provides that "(e)very Regional Trial Judge shall be
appointed to a region which shall be his permanent station," and he "may be assigned by the Supreme Court to any
branch or city or municipality within the same region as public interest may require, and such assignment shall not be
deemed an assignment to another station . . ." which, otherwise, would necessitate a new appointment for the judge.

In fine, Administrative Order No. 3 and, in like manner, Circulars Nos. 13 and 19, did not per se confer jurisdiction on
the covered regional trial court or its branches, such that non-observance thereof would nullify their judicial acts. The
administrative order merely defines the limits of the administrative area within which a branch of the court may
exercise its authority pursuant to the jurisdiction conferred by Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. The circulars only allocated to
the three executive judges the administrative areas for which they may respectively issue search warrants under the
special circumstance contemplated therein, but likewise pursuant to the jurisdiction vested in them by Batas Pambansa
Blg, 129.

xxxxxxxxxx
Guidelines on possible conflicts of jurisdiction where the criminal case is pending in one court and the search
warrant is issued by another court for the seizure of personal property intended to be used as evidence in said
crime.

1. The court wherein the criminal case is pending shall have primary jurisdiction to issue search warrants
necessitated by and for the purposes of said case.
2. When the latter court issues the search warrant, a motion to quash the same may be filed in and shall be resolved
by said court, without prejudice to any proper recourse to the appropriate higher court by the party aggrieved by
the resolution of the issuing court.
3. Where no motion to quash the search warrant was filed in or resolved by the issuing court, the interested party
may move in the court where the criminal case is pending for the suppression as evidence of the personal property
seized under the warrant if the same is offered therein for said purpose.
4. Where the court which issued the search warrant denies the motion to quash the same and is not otherwise
prevented from further proceeding thereon, all personal property seized under the warrant shall forthwith be
transmitted by it to the court wherein the criminal case is pending, with the necessary safeguards and
documentation therefor.
5. These guidelines shall likewise be observed where the same criminal offense is charged in different informations
or complaints and filed in two or more courts with concurrent original jurisdiction over the criminal action.

Note: (Please check the Original Case for the full explanation of each guideline)

Valmonte vs. De Villa


Facts: On 20 January 1987, the National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC) was
activated pursuant to Letter of Instruction 02/87 of the Philippine General Headquarters, AFP,
with the mission of conducting security operations within its area of responsibility and
peripheral areas, for the purpose of establishing an effective territorial defense, maintaining
peace and order, and providing an atmosphere conducive to the social, economic and political
development of the National Capital Region. As part of its duty to maintain peace and order,
the NCRDC installed checkpoints in various parts of Valenzuela, Metro Manila. Petitioners aver
that, because of the installation of said checkpoints, the residents of Valenzuela are worried of
being harassed and of their safety being placed at the arbitrary, capricious and whimsical
disposition of the military manning the checkpoints, considering that their cars and vehicles are
being subjected to regular searches and check-ups, especially at night or at dawn, without the
benefit of a search warrant and/or court order. Their alleged fear for their safety increased
when, at dawn of 9 July 1988, Benjamin Parpon, a supply officer of the Municipality of
Valenzuela, Bulacan, was gunned down allegedly in cold blood by the members of the NCRDC
manning the checkpoint along McArthur Highway at Malinta, Valenzuela, for ignoring and/or
refusing to submit himself to the checkpoint and for continuing to speed off inspire of warning
shots fired in the air.

Issue: WON the installation of checkpoints violates the right of the people against unreasonable
searches and seizures

Held: Petitioner's concern for their safety and apprehension at being harassed by the military
manning the checkpoints are not sufficient grounds to declare the checkpoints per se, illegal. No
proof has been presented before the Court to show that, in the course of their routine checks,
the military, indeed, committed specific violations of petitioners'' rights against unlawful search
and seizure of other rights. The constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures
is a personal right invocable only by those whose rights have been infringed, or threatened to
be infringed. Not all searches and seizures are prohibited. Those which are reasonable are not
forbidden. The setting up of the questioned checkpoints may be considered as a security
measure to enable the NCRDC to pursue its mission of establishing effective territorial defense
and maintaining peace and order for the benefit of the public. Checkpoints may not also be
regarded as measures to thwart plots to destabilize the govt, in the interest of public security.
Between the inherent right of the state to protect its existence and promote public welfare and
an individual’s right against a warrantless search w/c is, however, reasonably conducted, the
former should prevail. True, the manning of checkpoints by the military is susceptible of abuse
by the military in the same manner that all governmental power is susceptible of abuse. But, at
the cost of occasional inconvenience, discomfort and even irritation to the citizen, the
checkpoints during these abnormal times, when conducted w/in reasonable limits, are part of
the price we pay for an orderly society and a peaceful community.

33 PEOPLE VS VELOSO

48 PHIL. 169 (1925)

MALCOLM, J.

Facts:

-In May, 1923, the building located at No. 124 Calle Arzobispo, City of Manila, was used by an
organization known as the Parliamentary Club. Jose Ma. Veloso was at that time a member of the House
of Representative of the Philippine Legislature. He was also the manager of the club.

-The police of Manila had reliable information that the so-called Parliamentary Club was nothing more
than a gambling house. Indeed, on May 19, 1923, J. F. Townsend, the chief of the gambling squad, had
been to the club and verified this fact. As a result, on May 25, 1923, Detective Andres Geronimo of the
secret service of the City of Manila, applied for, and obtained a search warrant from Judge Garduño of
the municipal court. Thus provided, the police attempted to raid the Parliamentary Club a little after
three in the afternoon of the date above- mentioned. They found the doors to the premises closed and
barred. Accordingly, one band of police including policeman Rosacker, ascended a telephone pole, so as
to enter a window of the house. Other policemen, headed by Townsend, broke in the outer door.

-Once inside the Parliamentary Club, nearly fifty persons were apprehended by the police. One of them
was the defendant Veloso. Veloso asked Townsend what he wanted, and the latter showed him the
search warrant. Veloso read it and told Townsend that he was Representative Veloso and not John Doe,
and that the police had no right to search the house. Townsend answered that Veloso was considered as
John Doe. As Veloso's pocket was bulging, as if it contained gambling utensils, Townsend required Veloso
to show him the evidence of the game. About five minutes was consumed in conversation between the
policemen and the accused the policemen insisting on searching Veloso, and Veloso insisting in his
refusal to submit to the search.

-At last the patience of the officers was exhausted. So policeman Rosacker took hold of Veloso only to
meet with his resistance. Veloso bit Rosacker in the right forearm, and gave him a blow in another part of
the body, which injured the policeman quite severely. Through the combined efforts of Townsend and
Rosacker, Veloso was finally laid down on the floor, and long sheets of paper, of reglas de monte, cards,
cardboards, and chips were taken from his pockets.

-All of the persons arrested were searched and then conducted to the patrol wagons. Veloso again
refused to obey and shouted offensive epithets against the police department. It was necessary for the
policemen to conduct him downstairs. At the door, Veloso resisted so tenaciously that three policemen
were needed to place him in the patrol wagon.

-The warrant read as follows:

SEARCH WARRANT

The People of the Philippine Islands, to any member of the

Police Force of the City of Manila.

GREETING

Proof by affidavit having this day been made before me by Andres Geronimo that he has
good reason to believe and does believe that John Doe has illegally in his possession in
the building occupied by him and which is under his control, namely in the building
numbered 124 Calle Arzobispo, City of Manila, Philippines Islands, certain devices and
effects used in violation of the Gambling Law, to wit: money, cards, chips, reglas, pintas,
tables and chairs and other utensils used in connection with the game commonly known
as monte and that the said John Doe keeps and conceals said devices and effects with
the illegal and criminal intention of using them in violation of the Gambling Law.

Now therefore, you are hereby commanded that at any time in the day or night within
ten (10) days on or after this date to make a search on the person of said John Doe and
in the house situated at No. 124 Calle Arzobispo, City of Manila, Philippine Islands, in
quest of the above described devices and effects and if you find the same or any part
thereof, you are commanded to bring it forthwith before me as provided for by law.

Given under my hand, this 25th day of May, 1923.

(Sgd.) L. GARDUÑO
Judge, Municipal Court

Issue: WON the search warrant and the arrest of Veloso was valid.

Ruling: Yes.

RD:

It is provided, among other things, in the Philippine Code on Criminal Procedure that “a search warrant
shall not issue except for probable cause and upon application supported by oath particularly describing
the place to be searched and the person of thing to be seized.”

The name and description of the accused should be inserted in the body of the warrant and where the
name is unknown there must be such a description of the person accused as will enable the officer to
identify him when found.

A warrant for the apprehension of a person whose true name is unknown, by the name of "John Doe" or
"Richard Roe," "whose other or true name in unknown," is void, without other and further descriptions
of the person to be apprehended, and such warrant will not justify the officer in acting under it. Such a
warrant must, in addition, contain the best descriptio personae possible to be obtained of the person or
persons to be apprehended, and this description must be sufficient to indicate clearly the proper person
or persons upon whom the warrant is to be served; and should state his personal appearance and
peculiarities, give his occupation and place of residence, and any other circumstances by means of which
he can be identified.

In the first place, the affidavit for the search warrant and the search warrant itself described the building
to be searched as "the building No. 124 Calle Arzobispo, City of Manila, Philippine Islands." This, without
doubt, was a sufficient designation of the premises to be searched.

As the search warrant stated that John Doe had gambling apparatus in his possession in the building
occupied by him at No. 124 Calle Arzobispo, City of Manila, and as this John Doe was Jose Ma. Veloso,
the manager of the club, the police could identify John Doe as Jose Ma. Veloso without difficulty.

MHP GARMENTS, INC vs. CA

September 2, 1994

G.R. No. 86720

PETITIONERS: MHP Garments Inc, and Larry De Guzman

RESPONDENTS: CA, Agnes Villa Cruz, Mirasol Lugatiman, Gertrudes Gonzales


FACTS:

In February 1983, petitioner MHP Garments, Inc., was awarded by the Boy Scouts of the
Philippines, the exclusive franchise to sell and distribute official Boy Scouts uniforms, supplies,
badges, and insignias. In their Memorandum Agreement, MHP was given the authority to
"undertake or cause to be undertaken the prosecution in court of all illegal sources of scout
uniforms and other scouting supplies." Sometime in October 1983, MHP received information
that private respondents were selling Boy Scouts items and paraphernalia without any authority.
Larry de Guzman (“Larry”), an employee of MHP, was then tasked to undertake the necessary
surveillance and to make a report to the Philippine Constabulary (PC).

On October 25, 1983, at about 10:30 A.M., Larry, Captain Renato M. Peñafiel, and 2 other
constabulary men of the Reaction Force Battalion went to the stores of respondents at the
Marikina Public Market. WITHOUT any warrant, they seized the boy and girl scouts pants,
dresses, and suits on display at respondents' stalls. The seizure caused a commotion and
embarrassed private respondents. Receipts were issued for the seized items and the items were
then turned over to MHP for safekeeping.

A criminal complaint for unfair competition was then filed against private respondents but
during its pendency, Larry exacted from respondent Lugatiman P3,100.00 in order to be dropped
from the complaint. However, after the preliminary investigation, the Provincial Fiscal of Rizal
dismissed the complaint against all the private respondents and ordered the return of the seized
items. The seized items were not immediately returned despite demands. Private respondents
had to go personally to petitioners' place of business to recover their goods, and even then, not
all the seized items were returned and the other items returned were of inferior quality.

Private respondents filed a civil case for sums of money and damages against MHP and Larry
(note: the PC officers were not sued for damages). The RTC ruled in favor of the private
respondents which was later on affirmed by CA.

ISSUES:

1. Did CA err in imputing liability for damages to petitioners who did not effect the seizure?
NO. While undoubtedly, the members of the PC raiding team should have been included in the
complaint for violation of the private respondents' constitutional rights, still, the omission will
not exculpate petitioners. Despite the sufficiency of time, they did not apply for a warrant and
seized the goods of private respondents. In doing so, they took the risk of a suit for damages in
case the seizure would be proved to violate the right of private respondents against
unreasonable search and seizure. In the case at bench, the search and seizure were clearly
illegal. There was no probable cause for the seizure.

The raid was conducted with the active participation of their employee. Larry de Guzman did not
lift a finger to stop the seizure of the boy and girl scouts items. By standing by and apparently
assenting thereto, he was liable to the same extent as the officers themselves.

In the case of Lim vs. Ponce de Leon, we ruled for the recovery of damages for violation of
constitutional rights and liberties from public officer or private individual. The very nature of
Article 32 is that the wrong may be civil or criminal. It is NOT necessary therefore that there
should be malice or bad faith. To make such a requisite would defeat the main purpose of
Article 32 which is the effective protection of individual rights.

In, Aberca vs. Ver, the court held that in Art. 32, the law speaks of an officer or employee or
person "directly or indirectly" responsible for the violation of the constitutional rights and
liberties of another. Thus, it is not the actor alone (i.e., the one directly responsible) who must
answer for damages under Article 32; the person indirectly responsible has also to answer for
the damages or injury caused to the aggrieved party… it should nonetheless be made clear in no
uncertain terms that Article 32 of the Civil Code makes the persons who are directly, as well as
indirectly, responsible for the transgression joint tortfeasors.

2. Did CA err in finding that the seizure was done in a tortious manner but penalized the petitioners
who did not commit the act of confiscation?

NO. The respondent court correctly granted damages to private respondents. Petitioners were
indirectly involved in transgressing the right of private respondents against unreasonable search
and seizure:

 FIRST, They instigated the raid pursuant to their covenant in the Memorandum Agreement
to undertake the prosecution in court of all illegal sources of scouting supplies.
 SECOND, Under Letter of Instruction No. 1299, petitioners miserably failed to report the
unlawful peddling of scouting goods to the Boy Scouts of the Philippines for the proper
application of a warrant.
 THIRD, If petitioners did not have a hand in the raid, they should have filed a third-party
complaint against the raiding team for contribution or any other relief, in respect of
respondents' claim for Recovery of Sum of Money with Damages. Again, they did not.

G.R. No. L-19550 June 19, 1967


HARRY S. STONEHILL, ROBERT P. BROOKS, JOHN J. BROOKS and KARL BECK,
petitioners,
vs.
HON. JOSE W. DIOKNO, in his capacity as SECRETARY OF JUSTICE; JOSE
LUKBAN, in his capacity as Acting Director, National Bureau of Investigation; SPECIAL
PROSECUTORS PEDRO D. CENZON, EFREN I. PLANA and MANUEL VILLAREAL,
JR. and ASST. FISCAL MANASES G. REYES; JUDGE AMADO ROAN, Municipal
Court of Manila; JUDGE ROMAN CANSINO, Municipal Court of Manila; JUDGE
HERMOGENES CALUAG, Court of First Instance of Rizal-Quezon City Branch, and
JUDGE DAMIAN JIMENEZ, Municipal Court of Quezon City, respondents.

Facts: Petitioners, who have prior deportation cases pending, and the corporation they form were
alleged to committed "violation of Central Bank Laws, Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal
Revenue (Code) and the Revised Penal Code,” to which they were served 4 search warrants,
directing any peace officer to search petitioners’ persons and/or premises of their offices,
warehouses and/or residences for: “books of accounts, financial records, vouchers,
correspondence, receipts, ledgers, journals, portfolios, credit journals, typewriters, and other
documents and/or papers showing all business transactions including disbursements receipts,
balance sheets and profit and loss statements and Bobbins (cigarette wrappers).”

The items allegedly illegally obtained can be classified into two groups: (1) those found and
seized in the offices of aforementioned corporations, and (2) those found in petitioners’
residences.

Petitioners aver that the warrant is illegal for, inter alia: (1) they do not describe with
particularity the documents, books and things to be seized; (2) cash money, not mentioned in the
warrants, were actually seized; (3) the warrants were issued to fish evidence against the
aforementioned petitioners in deportation cases filed against them; (4) the searches and seizures
were made in an illegal manner; and (5) the documents, papers and cash money seized were not
delivered to the courts that issued the warrants, to be disposed of in accordance with law x x x.

Respondent-prosecutors invoke the Moncado vs People’s Court ruling: even if the searches and
seizures under consideration were unconstitutional, the documents, papers and things thus seized
are admissible in evidence against petitioners herein.

Issue: Validity of the search warrants.

Held: The SC ruled in favor of Stonehill et. al., reversing the Moncado doctrine. Though
Stonehill et. al. are not the proper parties to assail the validity of the search warrant issued
against their corporation and thus they have no cause of action (only the officers or board
members of said corporation may assail said warrant, and that corporations have personalities
distinct from petitioners’ personalities), the 3 warrants issued to search petitioners’ residences are
hereby declared void. Thus, the searches and seizures made therein are made illegal.

The constitution protects the people’s right against unreasonable search and seizure. It provides:

(1) that no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge in the
manner set forth in said provision; and
(2) that the warrant shall particularly describe the things to be seized.

In the case at bar, none of these are met.

The warrant was issued from mere allegation that petitioners committed a “violation of Central
Bank Laws, Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal Revenue (Code) and Revised Penal Code.” As no
specific violation has been alleged, it was impossible for the judges who issued said
warrants to have found the existence of probable cause, for the same presupposes the
introduction of competent proof that the party against whom it is sought has performed or
committed violations of the law. In other words, it would be a legal heresy, of the highest
order, to convict anybody of a “violation of Central Bank Laws, Tariff and Customs Laws,
Internal Revenue (Code) and Revised Penal Code,” — as alleged in the aforementioned
applications — without reference to any determinate provision of said laws or codes.
General warrants are also to be eliminated, as the legality or illegality of petitioners’ transactions
is immaterial to the invalidity of the general warrant that sought these effects to be searched and
seized: “Books of accounts, financial records, vouchers, journals, correspondence, receipts,
ledgers, portfolios, credit journals, typewriters, and other documents and/or papers showing all
business transactions including disbursement receipts, balance sheets and related profit and loss
statements.”

The Court also holds that the only practical means of enforcing the constitutional injunction
against unreasonable searches and seizures is, in the language of the Federal Supreme Court: x x
x If letters and private documents can thus be seized and held and used in evidence against
a citizen accused of an offense, the protection of the 4th Amendment, declaring his rights to
be secure against such searches and seizures, is of no value, and, so far as those thus placed
are concerned, might as well be stricken from the Constitution. The efforts of the courts and
their officials to bring the guilty to punishment, praiseworthy as they are, are not to be
aided by the sacrifice of those great principles established by years of endeavor and suffering
which have resulted in their embodiment in the fundamental law of the land.
Stonehill v. Diokno
20 SCRA 283 (1967)
Concepcion, CJ

Facts:
1. Respondent (prosecution) made possible the issuance of 42 search warrants against the
petitioner and the corporation to search persons and premises of several personal properties due
to an alleged violation of Central Bank Laws, Tariff and Custom Laws, Internal Revenue Code
and the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. As a results, search and seizures were conducted
in the both the residence of the petitioner and in the corporation's premises.

2. The petitioner contended that the search warrants are null and void as their issuance violated
the Constitution and the Rules of Court for being general warrants. Thus, he filed a petition with
the Supreme Court for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus and injunction to prevent the seized
effects from being introduced as evidence in the deportation cases against the petitioner. The
court issued the writ only for those effects found in the petitioner's residence.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioner can validly assail the legality of the search and seizure
in both premises

RULING: No, he can only assail the search conducted in the residences but not those done in the
corporation's premises. The petitioner has no cause of action in the second situation since a
corporation has a personality separate and distinct from the personality of its officers or herein
petitioner regardless of the amount of shares of stock or interest of each in the said corporation,
and whatever office they hold therein. Only the party whose right has been impaired can validly
object the legality of a seizure--a purely personal right which cannot be exercised by a third
party. The right to object belongs to the corporation (for the 1st group of documents, papers, and
things seized from the offices and the premises).
OKLAHOMA PRESS PUBLISHING COMPANY v. WALLING
February 11, 1946
U.S. Supreme Court Decision
Justice Rutledge

PETITIONER: RESPONDENT:
Oklahoma Press Publishing Company Walling – Wage and Hour Division Administrator

SUMMARY:
In a prior case decided in 1945, the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Fair Labor and Standards
Act (FLSA) was granted authority by the US Supreme Court to enforce subpoenas against petitioner pursuant to
Sec. 11 (a) of the FLSA which enforces Sec. 9 & 10 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The subpoenas sought the
production of specified records to determine whether petitioners were covered by the Act and if they were
violating the FLSA. Petitioners, claim that the Act is not applicable to them, and insist that the question of
applicability must be adjudicated before the subpoenas may be enforced. It was held that the Administrator as
authorized by Congress and upon a judicial order may enforce the production of documents because there is a
distinction between a "figurative/constructive search" and an actual search and seizure. Constructive searches are
limited by the 4th Amendment (equivalent to Section 2 of Art. III), where actual search and seizure requires
a warrant based on “probable cause”. However, where the subject of the constructive search are of corporate
character, the 4th Amendment does not apply, since corporations are not entitled to all the constitutional
protections created in order to protect the rights of private individuals (to be secure in person/home, right against
self-incrimination etc).

FACTS:
 Administrator of Hours and Wages Division ordered subpoenas against petitioner for the production of
specified records to determine whether petitioners were covered by or violating the Fair Labor Standards
Act.
o Pursuant to Section 11(a) of the Act --- authorizes the Administrator to "investigate and gather
data regarding the wages, hours, and other conditions and practices of employment in any
industry subject to this Act, and [he] may enter and inspect such places and such records...”

o Claims that all the books, records, papers and documents referred to in the subpoena were
"relative, material, and appropriate" to determine whether the company had violated the Act,
and would "aid in the enforcement of the provisions of the Act".

 Information alleged that petitioner, as publisher of two daily newspapers, was engaged in commerce or in
the production of goods for commerce within the meaning of the Act.

 Petitioner’s arguments:
a. Neither it nor any of its employees were engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for
commerce. (irrelevant)
b. If petitioner or any of its employees are engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for
commerce, as a newspaper publisher, it is a service establishment as defined by Section 13(a) (2)
of the Act and therefore exempt from its coverage. (irrelevant)
c. A forced investigation would be an unreasonable search and seizure, and, moreover, any
attempted regulation of its business violated the freedom of the press.
 Will allow fishing expeditions by government to collect evidence without prior charge or
complaint
 Court of Appeals affirmed Administrator’s orders in cases No. 61 and 63, hence the current petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Administrator has the right to judicial enforcement of subpoenas duces tecum in the
course of investigations.
HELD: Petition is DENIED. Judgments by the Court of Appeals in cases No. 61 and No. 63 are affirmed.

RATIO:
1. Alleged Violation of 4th Amendment (fishing expeditions)
 Records present no question of actual search and seizure, but raise only the question whether
orders of court for the production of specified records have been validly made; and no sufficient
showing appears to justify setting them aside.
2. Standards for Constructive searches involving corporate documents
 Specific charge or complaint - not necessary, as in the case of a warrant. It is enough that the
investigation be for a lawfully authorized purpose, within the power of Congress to command.
This has been ruled most often in relation to grand jury investigations, general or statistical
investigations authorized by Congress.
 Probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation - satisfied in an order for production by the
court's determination that the investigation is authorized by Congress, for a purpose Congress
can order, and the documents sought are relevant to the inquiry.
 Reasonableness and Particularity - applicable to warrants, comes down to specification of the
documents to be produced adequate, but not excessive, for the purposes of the relevant inquiry.
 Case to case basis - for relevancy and adequacy or excess in the breadth of the subpoena are
matters variable in relation to the nature, purposes and scope of the inquiry.
3. Corporation is not protected by the same rights as that of an individual
 As applied to the facts of the present case, it is impossible to conceive how a violation of
petitioners' rights could have been involved.
 The only records or documents sought were corporate ones. No possible element of self-
incrimination may be claimed. All the records sought were relevant to the authorized inquiry.
 The purpose of which was to determine two issues, whether petitioners were subject to the Act
and, if so, whether they were violating it.
 Administrator issued according to the statute's authorization, to have the aid of the district court
in enforcing it. No constitutional provision forbids Congress to do this. On the contrary, its
authority would seem clearly to be comprehended in the "necessary and proper" clause, as
incidental to both its general legislative and its investigative powers.
4. 96 U.S. 727 (1877)

5. EX PARTE JACKSON.
6. Supreme Court of United States.
7. *729 Mr. A.J. Dittenhoefer and Mr. Louis F. Post for the petitioner.
8. Mr. Assistant-Attorney-General Smith, contra.
9. *732 MR. JUSTICE FIELD, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.
10. The power vested in Congress "to establish post-offices and post-roads" has been
practically construed, since the foundation of the government, to authorize not merely the
designation of the routes over which the mail shall be carried, and the offices where
letters and other documents shall be received to be distributed or forwarded, but the
carriage of the mail, and all measures necessary to secure its safe and speedy transit, and
the prompt delivery of its contents. The validity of legislation prescribing what should be
carried, and its weight and form, and the charges to which it should be subjected, has
never been questioned. What should be mailable has varied at different times, changing
with the facility of transportation over the post-roads. At one time, only letters,
newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and other printed matter, not exceeding eight ounces
in weight, were carried; afterwards books were added to the list; and now small packages
of merchandise, not exceeding a prescribed weight, as well as books and printed matter of
all kinds, are transported in the mail. The power possessed by Congress embraces the
regulation of the entire postal system of the country. The right to designate what shall be
carried necessarily involves the right to determine what shall be excluded. The difficulty
attending the subject arises, not from the want of power in Congress to prescribe
regulations as to what shall constitute mail matter, but from the necessity of enforcing
them consistently with rights reserved to the people, of far greater importance than the
transportation of the mail. In their enforcement,
11. *733 a distinction is to be made between different kinds of mail matter, — between what
is intended to be kept free from inspection, such as letters, and sealed packages subject to
letter postage; and what is open to inspection, such as newspapers, magazines, pamphlets,
and other printed matter, purposely left in a condition to be examined. Letters and sealed
packages of this kind in the mail are as fully guarded from examination and inspection,
except as to their outward form and weight, as if they were retained by the parties
forwarding them in their own domiciles. The constitutional guaranty of the right of the
people to be secure in their papers against unreasonable searches and seizures extends to
their papers, thus closed against inspection, wherever they may be. Whilst in the mail,
they can only be opened and examined under like warrant, issued upon similar oath or
affirmation, particularly describing the thing to be seized, as is required when papers are
subjected to search in one's own household. No law of Congress can place in the hands of
officials connected with the postal service any authority to invade the secrecy of letters
and such sealed packages in the mail; and all regulations adopted as to mail matter of this
kind must be in subordination to the great principle embodied in the fourth amendment of
the Constitution.
12. Nor can any regulations be enforced against the transportation of printed matter in the
mail, which is open to examination, so as to interfere in any manner with the freedom of
the press. Liberty of circulating is as essential to that freedom as liberty of publishing;
indeed, without the circulation, the publication would be of little value. If, therefore,
printed matter be excluded from the mails, its transportation in any other way cannot be
forbidden by Congress.
13. In 1836, the question as to the power of Congress to exclude publications from the mail
was discussed in the Senate; and the prevailing opinion of its members, as expressed in
debate, was against the existence of the power. President Jackson, in his annual message
of the previous year, had referred to the attempted circulation through the mail of
inflammatory appeals, addressed to the passions of the slaves, in prints, and in various
publications, tending to stimulate them to insurrection; and suggested to Congress the
propriety of passing a law prohibiting
14. *734 under severe penalties, such circulation of "incendiary publications" in the Southern
States. In the Senate, that portion of the message was referred to a select committee, of
which Mr. Calhoun was chairman; and he made an elaborate report on the subject, in
which he contended that it belonged to the States, and not to Congress, to determine what
is and what is not calculated to disturb their security, and that to hold otherwise would be
fatal to the States; for if Congress might determine what papers were incendiary, and as
such prohibit their circulation through the mail, it might also determine what were not
incendiary, and enforce their circulation. Whilst, therefore, condemning in the strongest
terms the circulation of the publications, he insisted that Congress had not the power to
pass a law prohibiting their transmission through the mail, on the ground that it would
abridge the liberty of the press. "To understand," he said, "more fully the extent of the
control which the right of prohibiting circulation through the mail would give to the
government over the press, it must be borne in mind that the power of Congress over the
post-office and the mail is an exclusive power. It must also be remembered that Congress,
in the exercise of this power, may declare any road or navigable water to be a post-road;
and that, by the act of 1825, it is provided `that no stage, or other vehicle which regularly
performs trips on a post-road, or on a road parallel to it, shall carry letters.' The same
provision extends to packets, boats, or other vessels on navigable waters. Like provision
may be extended to newspapers and pamphlets, which, if it be admitted that Congress has
the right to discriminate in reference to their character, what papers shall or what shall not
be transmitted by the mail, would subject the freedom of the press, on all subjects,
political, moral, and religious, completely to its will and pleasure. It would in fact, in
some respects, more effectually control the freedom of the press than any sedition law,
however severe its penalties." Mr. Calhoun, at the same time, contended that when a State
had pronounced certain publications to be dangerous to its peace, and prohibited their
circulation, it was the duty of Congress to respect its laws and co-operate in their
enforcement; and whilst, therefore, Congress could not prohibit the transmission of the
incendiary documents through the mails.
15. *735 it could prevent their delivery by the postmasters in the States where their
circulation was forbidden. In the discussion upon the bill reported by him, similar views
against the power of Congress were expressed by other senators, who did not concur in
the opinion that the delivery of papers could be prevented when their transmission was
permitted.
16. Great reliance is placed by the petitioner upon these views, coming, as they did in many
instances, from men alike distinguished as jurists and statesmen. But it is evident that
they were founded upon the assumption that it was competent for Congress to prohibit
the transportation of newspapers and pamphlets over postal-routes in any other way than
by mail; and of course it would follow, that if, with such a prohibition, the transportation
in the mail could also be forbidden, the circulation of the documents would be destroyed,
and a fatal blow given to the freedom of the press. But we do not think that Congress
possesses the power to prevent the transportation in other ways, as merchandise, of
matter which it excludes from the mails. To give efficiency to its regulations and prevent
rival postal systems, it may perhaps prohibit the carriage by others for hire, over postal
routes, of articles which legitimately constitute mail matter, in the sense in which those
terms were used when the Constitution was adopted, consisting of letters, and of
newspapers and pamphlets, when not sent as merchandise; but further than this its power
of prohibition cannot extend.
17. Whilst regulations excluding matter from the mail cannot be enforced in a way which
would require or permit an examination into letters, or sealed packages subject to letter
postage, without warrant, issued upon oath or affirmation, in the search for prohibited
matter, they may be enforced upon competent evidence of their violation obtained in
other ways; as from the parties receiving the letters or packages, or from agents
depositing them in the post-office, or others cognizant of the facts. And as to
objectionable printed matter, which is open to examination, the regulations may be
enforced in a similar way, by the imposition of penalties for their violation through the
courts, and, in some cases, by the direct action of the officers of the postal service. In
many instances, those officers can act
18. 736 upon their own inspection, and, from the nature of the case, must act without other
proof; as where the postage is not prepaid, or where there is an excess of weight over the
amount prescribed, or where the object is exposed, and shows unmistakably that it is
prohibited, as in the case of an obscene picture or print. In such cases, no difficulty arises,
and no principle is violated, in excluding the prohibited articles or refusing to forward
them. The evidence respecting them is seen by every one, and is in its nature conclusive.
19. In excluding various articles from the mail, the object of Congress has not been to
interfere with the freedom of the press, or with any other rights of the people; but to
refuse its facilities for the distribution of matter deemed injurious to the public morals.
Thus, by the act of March 3, 1873, Congress declared "that no obscene, lewd, or
lascivious book, pamphlet, picture, paper, print, or other publication of an indecent
character, or any article or thing designed or intended for the prevention of conception or
procuring of abortion, nor any article or thing intended or adapted for any indecent or
immoral use or nature, nor any written or printed card, circular, book, pamphlet,
advertisement, or notice of any kind, giving information, directly or indirectly, where, or
how, or of whom, or by what means, either of the things before mentioned may be
obtained or made, nor any letter upon the envelope of which, or postal-card upon which
indecent or scurrilous epithets may be written or printed, shall be carried in the mail; and
any person who shall knowingly deposit, or cause to be deposited, for mailing or
delivery, any of the hereinbefore mentioned articles or things, ... shall be deemed guilty
of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall, for every offence, be fined not less
than $100, nor more than $5,000, or imprisonment at hard labor not less than one year
nor more than ten years, or both, in the discretion of the judge."
20. All that Congress meant by this act was, that the mail should not be used to transport such
corrupting publications and articles, and that any one who attempted to use it for that
purpose should be punished. The same inhibition has been extended to circulars
concerning lotteries, institutions which are supposed to have a demoralizing influence
upon the people. There is no
21. *737 question before us as to the evidence upon which the conviction of the petitioner
was had; nor does it appear whether the envelope in which the prohibited circular was
deposited in the mail was sealed or left open for examination. The only question for our
determination relates to the constitutionality of the act; and of that we have no doubt.
22. The commitment of the petitioner to the county jail, until his fine was paid, was within
the discretion of the court under the statute.
23. As there is an exemplified copy of the record of the petitioner's indictment and conviction
accompanying the petition, the merits of his case have been considered at his request
upon this application; and, as we are of opinion that his imprisonment is legal, no object
would be subserved by issuing the writs; they are therefore
24. Denied.
FACTS:

Pursuant to Senate Resolution No. 455, Senator Gordon requested PCGG Chairman Sabio and
his Commissioners to appear as resource persons in the public meeting jointly conducted by the
Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public
Services.

Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment, and at the same time
invoked Section 4(b) of EO No. 1: “No member or staff of the Commission shall be required
to testify or produce evidence in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding
concerning matters within its official cognizance.”

ISSUE:

Whether or not Section 4(b) of E.O. No.1 limits power of legislative inquiry by exempting all
PCGG members or staff from testifying in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding.

RULING:

No. Article VI, Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution grants the power of inquiry not only to the
Senate and the House of Representatives, but also to any of their respective committees.
Clearly, there is a direct conferral of investigatory power to the committees and it means that
the mechanism which the Houses can take in order to effectively perform its investigative
functions are also available to the committees.

It can be said that the Congress’ power of inquiry has gained more solid existence and expansive
construal. The Court’s high regard to such power is rendered more evident in Senate v. Ermita,
where it categorically ruled that “the power of inquiry is broad enough to cover officials of
the executive branch.” Verily, the Court reinforced the doctrine in Arnault that “the
operation of government, being a legitimate subject for legislation, is a proper subject for
investigation” and that “the power of inquiry is co-extensive with the power to legislate.”

Considering these jurisprudential instructions, Section 4(b) is directly repugnant with Article VI,
Section 21. Section 4(b) exempts the PCGG members and staff from the Congress’ power of
inquiry. This cannot be countenanced. Nowhere in the Constitution is any provision granting
such exemption. The Congress’ power of inquiry, being broad, encompasses everything that
concerns the administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly needed statutes. It
even extends “to government agencies created by Congress and officers whose positions are
within the power of Congress to regulate or even abolish.” PCGG belongs to this class.

A statute may be declared unconstitutional because it is not within the legislative power to
enact; or it creates or establishes methods or forms that infringe constitutional principles; or its
purpose or effect violates the Constitution or its basic principles.

Moreover, Sec. 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 has been repealed by the Constitution because it is
inconsistent with the constitutional provisions on the Congress’ power of inquiry (Art. VI, Sec.
21), the principle of public accountability (Art. XI, Sec. 1), the policy of full disclosure (Art. II,
Sec. 28), and the right of access to public information (Art. III, Sec. 7).

Certainly, a mere provision of law cannot pose a limitation to the broad power of Congress, in
the absence of any constitutional basis.

Bache & Co. Inc. et al vs BIR Commissioner Vivencio Ruiz


et al

Search and Seizure – Personal Examination of the Judge

On 24 Feb 1970, Commissioner Vera of Internal Revenue, wrote a letter addressed to J Ruiz
requesting the issuance of a search warrant against petitioners for violation of Sec 46(a) of the
NIRC, in relation to all other pertinent provisions thereof, particularly Sects 53, 72, 73, 208 and
209, and authorizing Revenue Examiner de Leon make and file the application for search
warrant which was attached to the letter. The next day, de Leon and his witnesses went to CFI
Rizal to obtain the search warrant. At that time J Ruiz was hearing a certain case; so, by means of
a note, he instructed his Deputy Clerk of Court to take the depositions of De Leon and Logronio.
After the session had adjourned, J Ruiz was informed that the depositions had already been
taken. The stenographer read to him her stenographic notes; and thereafter, J Ruiz asked
respondent Logronio to take the oath and warned him that if his deposition was found to be false
and without legal basis, he could be charged for perjury. J Ruiz signed de Leon’s application for
search warrant and Logronio’s deposition. The search was subsequently conducted.
ISSUE: Whether or not there had been a valid search warrant.

HELD: The SC ruled in favor of Bache on three grounds.

1. J Ruiz failed to personally examine the complainant and his witness.

Personal examination by the judge of the complainant and his witnesses is necessary to enable
him to determine the existence or non-existence of a probable cause.

2. The search warrant was issued for more than one specific offense.

The search warrant in question was issued for at least four distinct offenses under the Tax Code.
As ruled in Stonehill “Such is the seriousness of the irregularities committed in connection with
the disputed search warrants, that this Court deemed it fit to amend Section 3 of Rule 122 of the
former Rules of Court that ‘a search warrant shall not issue but upon probable cause in
connection with one specific offense.’ Not satisfied with this qualification, the Court added
thereto a paragraph, directing that ‘no search warrant shall issue for more than one specific
offense.

3. The search warrant does not particularly describe the things to be seized.

The documents, papers and effects sought to be seized are described in the Search Warrant

“Unregistered and private books of accounts (ledgers, journals, columnars, receipts and
disbursements books, customers ledgers); receipts for payments received; certificates of stocks
and securities; contracts, promissory notes and deeds of sale; telex and coded messages; business
communications, accounting and business records; checks and check stubs; records of bank
deposits and withdrawals; and records of foreign remittances, covering the years 1966 to 1970.”

The description does not meet the requirement in Art III, Sec. 1, of the Constitution, and of Sec.
3, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Court, that the warrant should particularly describe the
things to be seized.

A search warrant may be said to particularly describe the things to be seized when the description
therein is as specific as the circumstances will ordinarily allow or when the description expresses
a conclusion of fact not of law by which the warrant officer may be guided in making the search
and seizure or when the things described are limited to those which bear direct relation to the
offense for which the warrant is being issued.

US vs Katz, 389 U.S. 347


Brief Fact Summary. The petitioner, Katz, was convicted of transmitting wagering
information over telephone lines in violation of federal law. The government had entered
into evidence the petitioner’s end of telephone conversations that the government had
obtained by placing a listening device to the phone booth that the petitioner used. The
Court of Appeals rejected the petitioner’s contention that the evidence should be
suppressed.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The protection of the Fourth Amendment of the United States
Constitution, against unreasonable searches and seizures, follows the person and not
the place.

Facts. The petitioner used a public telephone booth to transmit wagering information
from Los Angeles to Boston and Miami in violation of federal law. After extensive
surveillance, the FBI placed a listening device to the top of the telephone booth and
recorded the petitioner’s end of the telephone conversations which was then used as
evidence against him at his trial. The petitioner moved to have the evidence suppressed
under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, and that motion was denied. The
Court of Appeals rejected the contention that the evidence is inadmissible. Certiorari
was granted.

Issue. Whether the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects telephone


conversations conducted in a phone booth and secretly recorded from introduction as
evidence against a person?

Held. Justice Potter Stewart filed the majority opinion. The petitioner strenuously
asserted that the phone booth was a constitutionally protected area. However, the
Fourth Amendment protects persons and not places from unreasonable intrusion. Even
in a public place, a person may have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his person.
Although the petitioner did not seek to hide his self from public view when he entered
the telephone booth, he did seek to keep out the uninvited ear. He did not relinquish his
right to do so simply because he went to a place where he could be seen. A person who
enters into a telephone booth may expect the protection of the Fourth Amendment of
the Constitution as he assumes that the words he utters into the telephone will not be
broadcast to the world. Once this is acknowledged, it is clear that the Fourth
Amendment of the Constitution protects persons and not areas from unreasonable
searches and seizures. The Government’s activities in electron
ically listening to and recording the petitioner’s telephone conversations constituted a
search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment and absent a search warrant
predicated upon sufficient probable cause, all evidence obtained is inadmissible.

Dissent. Justice Hugo Black filed a dissenting opinion. J. Black observed that
eavesdropping was an ancient practice that the Framers were certainly aware of when
they drafted the United States Constitution. Had they wished to prohibit this activity
under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution they would have added such language
that would have effectively done so. By clever wording, the Supreme Court finds it
plausible to argue that language aimed specifically at searches and seizures of things
that can be searched and seized may, to protect privacy, be applied to eavesdropped
evidence of conversations.

Concurrence. Justice John Harlan filed a dissenting opinion. The Fourth Amendment of
the Constitution protects persons, not places. There is a twofold requirement for what
protection is afforded to those people. First, that a person has exhibited an actual
expectation of privacy and, second, that the expectation be one that society is prepared
to recognize as reasonable. The critical fact in this case is that a person who enters a
telephone booth shuts the door behind him, pays the toll, and is surely entitled to
assume that his conversation is not being intercepted. On the other hand, conversations
out in the open public would not be protected against being overheard as the
expectation of privacy would not be reasonable.

SOLIVEN VS. MAKASIAR [167 SCRA 393; G.R. NO. 82585; 14 NOV 1988]
Facts: In these consolidated cases, three principal issues were raised: (1) whether
or not petitioners were denied due process when information for libel were filed
against them although the finding of the existence of a prima facie case was still
under review by the Secretary of Justice and, subsequently, by the President; and
(2) whether or not the constitutional rights of Beltran were violated when
respondent RTC judge issued a warrant for his arrest without personally examining
the complainant and the witnesses, if any, to determine probable cause.
Subsequent events have rendered the first issue moot and academic. On March 30,
1988, the Secretary of Justice denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration and
upheld the resolution of the Undersecretary of Justice sustaining the City Fiscal's
finding of a prima facie case against petitioners. A second motion for
reconsideration filed by petitioner Beltran was denied by the Secretary of Justice on
April 7, 1988. On appeal, the President, through the Executive Secretary, affirmed
the resolution of the Secretary of Justice on May 2, 1988. The motion for
reconsideration was denied by the Executive Secretary on May 16, 1988. With these
developments, petitioners' contention that they have been denied the
administrative remedies available under the law has lost factual support.

Issues:
(1) Whether or Not petitioners were denied due process when information for libel
were filed against them although the finding of the existence of a prima facie case
was still under review by the Secretary of Justice and, subsequently, by the
President.
(2) Whether or Not the constitutional rights of Beltran were violated when
respondent RTC judge issued a warrant for his arrest without personally examining
the complainant and the witnesses, if any, to determine probable cause

Held: With respect to petitioner Beltran, the allegation of denial of due process of
law in the preliminary investigation is negated by the fact that instead of submitting
his counter- affidavits, he filed a "Motion to Declare Proceedings Closed," in effect
waiving his right to refute the complaint by filing counter-affidavits. Due process of
law does not require that the respondent in a criminal case actually file his counter-
affidavits before the preliminary investigation is deemed completed. All that is
required is that the respondent be given the opportunity to submit counter-affidavits
if he is so minded.

The second issue, raised by petitioner Beltran, calls for an interpretation of the
constitutional provision on the issuance of warrants of arrest. The pertinent
provision reads:

Art. III, Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers
and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for
any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall
issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after
examination nder oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may
produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or
things to be seized.

The addition of the word "personally" after the word "determined" and the deletion
of the grant of authority by the 1973 Constitution to issue warrants to "other
responsible officers as may be authorized by law," has apparently convinced
petitioner Beltran that the Constitution now requires the judge to personally
examine the complainant and his witnesses in his determination of probable cause
for the issuance of warrants of arrest. This is not an accurate interpretation.
What the Constitution underscores is the exclusive and personal responsibility of the
issuing judge to satisfy himself of the existence of probable cause. In satisfying
himself of the existence of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest,
the judge is not required to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses.
Following established doctrine and procedure, he shall: (1) personally evaluate the
report and the supporting documents submitted by the fiscal regarding the
existence of probable cause and, on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest; or
(2) if on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause, he may disregard the fiscal's
report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in
arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of probable cause.

Sound policy dictates this procedure, otherwise judges would be unduly laden with
the preliminary examination and investigation of criminal complaints instead of
concentrating on hearing and deciding cases filed before their courts. It has not
been shown that respondent judge has deviated from the prescribed procedure.
Thus, with regard to the issuance of the warrants of arrest, a finding of grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction cannot be sustained. The
petitions fail to establish that public respondents, through their separate acts,
gravely abused their discretion as to amount to lack of jurisdiction. Hence, the writs
of certiorari and prohibition prayed for cannot issue.

WHEREFORE, finding no grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of


jurisdiction on the part of the public respondents, the Court Resolved to DISMISS the
petitions in G. R. Nos. 82585, 82827 and 83979. The Order to maintain the status
quo contained in the Resolution of the Court en banc dated April 7, 1988 and
reiterated in the Resolution dated April 26, 1988 is LIFTED.

SOLIVEN VS. MAKASIAR [167 SCRA 393; G.R. NO. 82585; 14 NOV 1988]
Constitutional Law – President’s Immunity From Suit – Must Be Invoked by the
President
FACTS: Beltran is among the petitioners in this case. He together with others was
charged for libel by the president. Cory herself filed a complaint-affidavit against
him and others. Makasiar averred that Cory cannot file a complaint affidavit
because this would defeat her immunity from suit. He grounded his contention on
the principle that a president cannot be sued. However, if a president would sue
then the president would allow herself to be placed under the court’s jurisdiction
and conversely she would be consenting to be sued back. Also, considering the
functions of a president, the president may not be able to appear in court to be a
witness for herself thus she may be liable for contempt.

ISSUE: Whether or not such immunity can be invoked by Beltran, a person other
than the president.
HELD: The rationale for the grant to the President of the privilege of immunity from
suit is to assure the exercise of Presidential duties and functions free from any
hindrance or distraction, considering that being the Chief Executive of the
Government is a job that, aside from requiring all of the office-holder’s time, also
demands undivided attention.
But this privilege of immunity from suit, pertains to the President by virtue of the
office and may be invoked only by the holder of the office; not by any other person
in the President’s behalf. Thus, an accused like Beltran et al, in a criminal case in
which the President is complainant cannot raise the presidential privilege as a
defence to prevent the case from proceeding against such accused.

Moreover, there is nothing in our laws that would prevent the President from
waiving the privilege. Thus, if so minded the President may shed the protection
afforded by the privilege and submit to the court’s jurisdiction. The choice of
whether to exercise the privilege or to waive it is solely the President’s prerogative.
It is a decision that cannot be assumed and imposed by any other person.

Lim vs Felix

G.R. Nos. 94054-57, February 19, 1991

Facts: At the vicinity of the airport road of the Masbate Domestic Airport, located at the
municipality of Masbate province of Masbate, Congressman Moises Espinosa, Sr. and his
security escorts, namely Provincial Guards Antonio Cortes, Gaspar Amaro, and Artemio Fuentes
were attacked and killed by a lone assassin. Dante Siblante another security escort of
Congressman Espinosa, Sr. survived the assassination plot, although, he himself suffered a
gunshot wound. For the crime of multiple murder and frustrated murder, the accused were
Vicente Lim, Sr., Mayor Susana Lim of Masbate (petitioners in G.R. Nos. 94054-57), Jolly T.
Fernandez, Florencio T. Fernandez, Jr., Nonilon A. Bagalihog, Mayor Nestor C. Lim and Mayor
Antonio Kho (petitioners in G.R. Nos. 94266-69.) The RTC of Masbate concluded that a
probable cause has been established for the issuance of warrants of arrest. In the same Order, the
court ordered the arrest of the petitioners plus bail for provisional liberty.

The entire records of the case were transmitted to the Provincial Prosecutor of Masbate.
Respondent Acting Fiscal Antonio C. Alfane was designated to review the case. A petition to
transfer the venue of the Regional Trial Court of Masbate to the Regional Trial Court of Makati
was filed by petitioners and granted by the SC.

On July 5, 1990, the respondent court (RTC Makati) issued warrants of arrest against the accused
including the petitioners herein. The respondent Judge said:

"In the instant cases, the preliminary investigation was conducted by the Municipal Trial Court
of Masbate, Masbate which found the existence of probable cause that the offense of multiple
murder was committed and that all the accused are probably guilty thereof, which was affirmed
upon review by the Provincial Prosecutor who properly filed with the Regional Trial Court four
separate informations for murder. Considering that both the two competent officers to whom
such duty was entrusted by law have declared the existence of probable cause, each information
is complete in form and substance, and there is no visible defect on its face, this Court finds it
just and proper to rely on the prosecutor's certification in each information xxx”

Issue: Whether or not a judge may issue a warrant of arrest without bail by simply relying on the
prosecution's certification and recommendation that a probable cause exists

Held: No.

The Judge cannot ignore the clear words of the 1987 Constitution which requires "x x x probable
cause to be personally determined by the Judge x x x", not by any other officer or person.

If a Judge relies solely on the certification of the Prosecutor as in this case where all the records
of the investigation are in Masbate, he or she has not personally determined probable cause. The
determination is made by the Provincial Prosecutor. The constitutional requirement has not been
satisfied. The Judge commits a grave abuse of discretion.

The records of the preliminary investigation conducted by the Municipal Court of Masbate and
reviewed by the respondent Fiscal were still in Masbate when the respondent Fiscal issued the
warrants of arrest against the petitioners. There was no basis for the respondent Judge to make
his own personal determination regarding the existence of a probable cause for the issuance of a
warrant of arrest as mandated by the Constitution. He could not possibly have known what
transpired in Masbate as he had nothing but a certification. Significantly, the respondent Judge
denied the petitioners’ motion for the transmittal of the records on the ground that the mere
certification and recommendation of the respondent Fiscal that a probable cause exists is
sufficient for him to issue a warrant of arrest.
MICLAT vs PEOPLE

Facts: Police operatives including PDEA conducted a surveillance of drug trafficking in Palmera
Spring II, Bagumbong, Caloocan City. The informant of the police directed them to the
residence of a certain “ABE” PO3 Antonio then positioned himself at the perimeter of the house,
while the rest of the members of the group deployed themselves nearby. Thru a small opening in
the curtain-covered window, PO3 Antonio peeped inside and there at a distance of 1½ meters, he
saw “Abe” arranging several pieces of small plastic sachets which he believed to be containing
shabu. At the same instance they arrested the petitioner. However, the version of the petitioner is
that, together with her father and sister while watching television the police operatives barrage
themselves into their house and that the shabu was later planted to the petitioner while travelling
to the police station.

The trial court rendered the decision finding the petitioner guilty of Violation of Section 11,
Article II of RA No. 9165. The CA subsequently affirmed the trial court decision. Hence, this
appeal.

Issue: WHETHER OR NOT PEEPING THROUGH A CURTAIN-COVERED WINDOW IS


WITHIN THE MEANING OF “PLAIN VIEW DOCTRINE” FOR A WARRANTLESS
SEIZURE TO BE LAWFUL.

WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER WAS PROPERLY APPRAISED (SIC) OF HIS


CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO BE INFORMED OF THE CAUSE AND NATURE OF HIS
ARREST AND RIGHT TO BE ASSISTED BY COUNSEL DURING THE PERIOD OF HIS
ARREST AND CONTINUED DETENTION.
WHETHER OR NOT ARRANGING FOUR (4) PIECES OF PLASTIC SACHETS
CONSTITUTE AS A CRIME WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 5 (3), RULE 113 OF
THE RULES OF COURT.

Supreme Court ruled that at the time of petitioner’s arraignment, there was no objection
raised as to the irregularity of his arrest. Thereafter, he actively participated in the proceedings
before the trial court. In effect, 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. At any rate, the
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. It will not even negate the validity of the
conviction of the accused.

While it is true that Sec. 2 of the bill of rights preserves the rights of individuals of illegal
search and seizure. However, a settled exception to the right guaranteed by the above-stated
provision 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 and valid under
Section 5 (a), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, to wit:

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), Rule 113 to operate, this Court has ruled that two (2) elements
must be present: (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.

For conviction of illegal possession of a prohibited drug to lie, the following elements must be
established: (1) the accused was in possession of an item or an object identified to be a
prohibited or regulated drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused
was freely and consciously aware of being in possession of the drug.
Supreme Court ruled there is no compelling reason to reverse the findings of fact of the trial
court. No evidence exist that shows any apparent inconsistencies in the narration of the
prosecution witnesses of the events which transpired and led to the arrest of petitioner. After a
careful evaluation of the records, We find no error was committed by the RTC and the CA to
disregard their factual findings that petitioner committed the crime charged against him

DELA CRUZ VS. PEOPLE


FACTS:
Dela Cruz was an on-the-job trainee of an inter-island vessel. He frequently traveled, "coming back and forth taking a
vessel." At around 12:00 noon of May 11, 2007, Dela Cruz was at a pier of the Cebu Domestic Port to go home to Iloilo.
While buying a ticket, he allegedly left his bag on the floor with a porter. It took him around 15 minutes to purchase a
ticket. Dela Cruz then proceeded to the entrance of the terminal and placed his bag on the x-ray scanning machine for
inspection. The operator of the x-ray machine saw firearms inside Dela Cruz's bag.

Flores, the x-ray machine operator-on-duty, saw the impression of what appeared to be three (3) firearms inside Dela
Cruz's bag. Upon seeing the suspected firearms, she called the attention of port personnel Igot who was the baggage
inspector then. Igot asked Dela Cruz whether he was the owner of the bag. Dela Cruz answered Igot in the affirmative
and consented to Igot's manual inspection of the bag.

Port Police Officer Abregana was called by Igot and was told that there were firearms in a bag owned by Dela Cruz. Dela
Cruz admitted that he was owner of the bag. The bag was then inspected and the following items were found inside:
three (3) revolvers; NBI clearance; seaman's book; other personal items; and four (4) live ammunitions placed inside the
cylinder. When asked whether he had the proper documents for the firearms, Dela Cruz answered in the negative. Dela
Cruz was then arrested and informed of his violation of a crime punishable by law. He was also informed of his
constitutional rights.

In the Information, Dela Cruz was charged with violation of Republic Act No. 8294 for illegal possession of firearms.
Subsequently, another Information was filed charging him with the violation of Commission on Elections Resolution No.
7764, in relation to Section 261 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881.

Dela Cruz entered a plea of not guilty to both charges during arraignment.

After trial, RTC Dela Cruz guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating the Gun Ban under Commission on Elections
Resolution No. 7764, in relation to Section 261 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881. The trial court also finds the search
conducted by the port authorities reasonable and, therefore, not violative of the accused's constitutional rights. Hence,
when the search of the bag of the accused revealed the firearms and ammunitions, accused is deemed to have been
caught in flagrante delicto, justifying his arrest even without a warrant under Section 5(a), Rule 113 of the Rules of
Criminal Procedure. The firearms and ammunitions obtained in the course of such valid search are thus admissible as
evidence against [the] accused.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's Judgment.

Petitioner’s Contention:

1. Dela Cruz argues that there was no voluntary waiver against warrantless search. In petitioner's case, it may well be
said that, with the circumstances attending the search of his luggage, he had no actual intention to relinquish his
right against warrantless searches. He knew in all honest belief that when his luggage would pass through the
routine x-ray examination, nothing incriminating would be recovered. It was out of that innocent confidence that
he allowed the examination of his luggage. He believed that no incriminating evidence would be found. He knew he
did not place those items. But what is strikingly unique about his situation is that a considerable time interval
lapsed, creating an opportunity for someone else to place inside his luggage those incriminating items.

Respondent’s Argument:
Respondent argues that there was a valid waiver of Dela Cruz's right to unreasonable search and seizure, thus
warranting his conviction. Dela Cruz was caught in flagrante delicto. The firearms were seized during a routine
baggage x-ray at the port of Cebu, a common seaport security procedure. According to respondent, this case is
similar to valid warrantless searches and seizures conducted by airport personnel pursuant to routine airport
security procedures. Records are also clear that Dela Cruz voluntarily waived his right to unreasonable searches and
seizure.
I. Whether or not petitioner waived his right against unreasonable searches and
seizures- YES
ISSUE/S
Whether or not there was a valid search and seizure in this case- YES
For a full understanding of the nature of the constitutional rights involved, the court examined three (3) points of
alleged intrusion into the right to privacy of petitioner: first, when petitioner gave his bag for x-ray scanning to port
authorities; second, when the baggage inspector opened petitioner's bag and called the Port Authority Police; and
third, when the police officer opened the bag to search, retrieve, and seize the firearms and ammunition.
The first point of intrusion occurred when petitioner presented his bag for inspection to port personnel—the x-
ray machine operator and baggage inspector manning the x-ray machine station. The court held that the search
WAS NOT rendered unreasonable at the first point of intrusion.

With regard to searches and seizures, the standard imposed on private persons is different from that imposed on
state agents or authorized government authorities. In People v. Marti, This court held that there was no
unreasonable search or seizure. The evidence obtained against the accused was not procured by the state acting
through its police officers or authorized government agencies. The Bill of Rights does not govern relationships
between individuals; it cannot be invoked against the acts of private individual. If the search is made upon the
request of law enforcers, a warrant must generally be first secured if it is to pass the test of constitutionality.
However, if the search is made at the behest or initiative of the proprietor of a private establishment for its own
and private purposes, as in the case at bar, and without the intervention of police authorities, the right against
unreasonable search and seizure cannot be invoked for only the act of private individual, not the law enforcers, is
involved. In sum, the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures cannot be extended to acts
committed by private individuals so as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful intrusion by the
government.

Hence, by virtue of Marti, items seized pursuant to a reasonable search conducted by private persons are not
covered by the exclusionary rule. To determine whether the intrusion by the port personnel in this case was
committed by private or public persons, we revisit the history and organizational structure of the Philippine Ports
Authority.

The Cebu Port Authority is clothed with authority by the state to oversee the security of persons and vehicles
within its ports. While there is a distinction between port personnel and port police officers in this case,
considering that port personnel are not necessarily law enforcers, both should be considered agents of
government under Article III of the Constitution. The actions of port personnel during routine security checks at
ports have the color of a state-related function.

Thus, with port security personnel's functions having the color of state-related functions and deemed agents of
government, Marti is inapplicable in the present case. Nevertheless, searches pursuant to port security measures
are not unreasonable per se. The security measures of x-ray scanning and inspection in domestic ports are akin to
routine security procedures in airports.

In People v. Suzuki, the accused "entered the pre-departure area of the Bacolod Airport Terminal." He was "bound
for Manila via flight No. 132 of the Philippine Airlines and was carrying a small traveling bag and a box marked
'Bongbong's piaya." The accused "proceeded to the 'walk through metal detector,' a machine which produces a red
light and an alarm once it detects the presence of metallic substance or object." "Thereupon, the red light
switched on and the alarm sounded, signifying the presence of metallic substance either in his person or in the box
he was carrying." When the accused was asked to open the content of the box, he answered "open, open." Several
packs of dried marijuana fruiting tops were then found inside the box. Suzuki argued that the box was only given to
him as "pasalubong" by a certain Pinky, whom he had sexual relations with the night before. He did not know the
contents of the box. This court in Suzuki found that the search conducted on the accused was a valid exception to
the prohibition against warrantless searches as it was pursuant to a routine airport security procedure .

It is axiomatic that a reasonable search is not to be determined by any fixed formula but is to be resolved according
to the facts of each case. Given the circumstances obtaining here, we find the search conducted by the airport
authorities reasonable and, therefore, not violative of his constitutional rights. Hence, when the search of the box
of piaya revealed several marijuana fruiting tops, appellant is deemed to have been caught in flagrante delicto,
justifying his arrest even without a warrant under Section 5(a), Rule 113 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. The
packs of marijuana obtained in the course of such valid search are thus admissible as evidence against appellant.

The reason behind it is that there is a reasonable reduced expectation of privacy when coming into airports or
ports of travel Persons may lose the protection of the search and seizure clause by exposure of their persons or
This rationale was reiterated more recently in Sales v. People where the court upheld the validity of the search
conducted as part
of the routine security check at the old Manila Domestic Airport. Port authorities were acting within their duties
and functions when it used x-ray scanning machines for inspection of passengers' bags. When the results of the x-
ray scan revealed the existence of firearms in the bag, the port authorities had probable cause to conduct a search
of petitioner's bag. Notably, petitioner did not contest the results of the x-ray scan.

The second point of intrusion was when the baggage inspector opened petitioner's bag and called the attention
of the port police officer. The court also held that the search WAS NOT rendered unreasonable at the second
point of intrusion,

The port personnel's actions proceed from the authority and policy to ensure the safety of travelers and vehicles
within the port. At this point, petitioner already submitted himself and his belongings to inspection by placing his
bag in the x-ray scanning machine. The presentation of petitioner's bag for x-ray scanning was voluntary.
Petitioner had the choice of whether to present the bag or not. He had the option not to travel if he did not want
his bag scanned or inspected. X-ray machine scanning and actual inspection upon showing of probable cause that
a crime is being or has been committed are part of reasonable security regulations to safeguard the passengers
passing through ports or terminals. Probable cause is reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances
sufficiently strong in themselves to induce a cautious man to believe that the person accused is guilty of the
offense charged. It refers to the existence of such facts and circumstances that can lead a reasonably discreet and
prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed, and that the items, articles or objects sought in
connection with said offense or subject to seizure and destruction by law are in the place to be searched.

A third point of intrusion to petitioner's right to privacy occurred during petitioner's submission to port security
measures. This court should determine whether the requirements for a valid waiver against unreasonable
searches and seizures were met.

The Constitution safeguards a person's right against unreasonable searches and seizures. A warrantless search is
presumed to be unreasonable. However, this court lays down the exceptions where warrantless searches are
deemed legitimate: (1) warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest; (2) seizure in "plain view"; (3) search of a
moving vehicle; (4) consented warrantless search; (5) customs search; (6) stop and frisk; and (7) exigent and
emergency circumstances.

In case of consented searches or waiver of the constitutional guarantee against obtrusive searches, it is
fundamental that to constitute a waiver, it must first appear that (1) the right exists; (2) that the person involved
had knowledge, either actual or constructive, of the existence of such right; and (3) the said person had an actual
intention to relinquish the right.

Petitioner anchors his case on the claim that he did not validly consent to the search conducted by the port
authorities. He argues that he did not have an actual intention to relinquish his right against a warrantless search.
In cases involving the waiver of the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, events must be weighed in
its entirety. The trial court's findings show that petitioner presented his bag for scanning in the x-ray
machine. When his bag went through the x-ray machine and the firearms were detected, he voluntarily submitted
his bag for inspection to the port authorities. It was after the port personnel's inspection that Officer Abregana's
attention was called and the bag was inspected anew with petitioner's consent.

Similar to the accused in People v. Kagui Malasugui and People v. Omaweng who permitted authorities to search
their persons and premises without a warrant, petitioner is now precluded from claiming an invalid warrantless
search when he voluntarily submitted to the search on his person. In addition, petitioner's consent to the
search at the domestic port was not given under intimidating or coercive circumstances.

We also cannot subscribe to petitioner's argument that there was no valid consent to the search because his
consent was premised on his belief that there were no prohibited items in his bag. The defendant's belief that
no incriminating evidence would be found does not automatically negate valid consent to the search when
Routine baggage inspections conducted by port authorities, although done without search warrants, are not
unreasonable searches per se. Constitutional provisions protecting privacy should not be so literally understood
so as to deny reasonable safeguards to ensure the safety of the traveling public.

WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. The Court of Appeals Decision dated September 8, 2012 and the Resolution
dated August 23, 2013 in CA-GR CEB CR No. 01606 are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS.

Alih vs. Castro 151 SCRA 279

June 23, 1987

Facts:

Respondents who were members of the Philippine marine and defense forces raided the compound
occupied by petitioner in search of loose firearms, ammunitions and explosives. A shoot-out ensued
after petitioners resisted the intrusion by the respondents, killing a number of men. The following
morning, the petitioners were arrested and subjected to finger printing, paraffin testing and
photographing despite their objection. Several kinds of rifle, grenades and ammunitions were also
confiscated.

The petitioners filed an injunction suit with a prayer to have the items illegally seized returned to them
and invoked the provisions on the Bill of Rights.

The respondents admitted that the operation was done without a warrant but reasoned that they were
acting under superior orders and that operation was necessary because of the aggravation of the peace
and order problem due to the assassination of the city mayor.

Issue:

Whether or not the seizing of the items and the taking of the fingerprints and photographs of the
petitioners and subjecting them to paraffin testing are violative of the bill of Rights and are inadmissible
as evidence against them.

Held:

The court held that superior orders nor the suspicion that the respondents had against petitioners did
not excuse the former from observing the guaranty provided for by the constitution against
unreasonable searches and seizure. The petitioners were entitled to due process and should be
protected from the arbitrary actions of those tasked to execute the law. Furthermore, there was no
showing that the operation was urgent nor was there any showing of the petitioners as criminals or
fugitives of justice to merit approval by virtue of Rule 113, Section 5 of the Rules of Court.
The items seized, having been the “fruits of the poisonous tree” were held inadmissible as evidence in
any proceedings against the petitioners. The operation by the respondents was done without a warrant
and so the items seized during said operation should not be acknowledged in court as evidence. But said
evidence should remain in the custody of the law (custodia egis).

However, as to the issue on finger-printing, photographing and paraffin-testing as violative of the


provision against self-incrimination, the court held that the prohibition against self-incrimination applies
to testimonial compulsion only. As Justice Holmes put it in Holt v. United States, 18 “The prohibition of
compelling a man in a criminal court to be a witness against himself is a prohibition of the use of physical
or moral compulsion to extort communications from him, not an exclusion of his body as evidence when
it may be material.

G.R. No. L-41686 November 17, 1980

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs.COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF


RIZAL, BRANCH IX, QUEZON CITY

FACTS:

The Regional Anti-Smuggling Action Center (RASAC) was informed by an undisclosed


Informer that a shipment of highly dutiable goods would be transported to Manila from Angeles
City on a blue Dodge car. Spurred by such lead, they stationed themselves in the vicinity of the
toll gate of the North Diversion Road at Balintawak, Quezon City.

A light blue Dodge car driven by Sgt. Hope who was accompanied by Monina Medina
approached the exit gate and after giving the toll receipt sped away towards Manila. The RASAC
agents gave a chase and overtook Sgt. Hope's car. Agent Sabado blew his whistle and signaled
Sgt. Hope to stop but the latter instead of heeding, made a U-turn back to the North Diversion
Road, but he could not go through because of the buses in front of his car. At this point, the
agents succeeded in blocking Sgt. Hope's car and the latter stopped.

The Agents saw four (4) boxes on the back seat of the Dodge and upon inquiry as to what those
boxes were, Sgt. Hope answered "I do not know." Respondents told that they were bringing the
boxes to the Tropical Hut at Epifanio de los Santos.

Arriving at the Tropical Hut, the party, together with Col. Abad who had joined them waited for
the man who according to Monina Medina was supposed to receive the boxes. As the man did
not appear, Col. Abad "called off the mission" and brought respondents and their car to Camp
Aguinaldo.
An inspection of Sgt. Hope's car at Camp Aguinaldo yielded eleven (11) sealed boxes, four (4)
on the rear seat and seven (7) more in the baggage compartment which was opened on orders of
Col. Abad.

ISSUE: Whether or not the warrantless search and seizure conducted is lawful.

RULING:

What ASAC agents did was a faithful performance of a duty authorized under the Tariff and
Customs Code directing them as authorized agents to retrieve articles reasonably suspected of
having been possessed, issued or procured in violation of the tariff laws for which the
government has a direct interest.

The circumstances of the case at bar undoubtedly fall squarely within the privileged area where
search and seizure may lawfully be effected without the need of a warrant. The facts being no
less receptive to the applicability of the classic American ruling, the latter's force and effect as
well as the Mago decision must be upheld and reiterated in this petition. the find that the
constitutional guarantee has not been violated and the respondent court gravely erred in issuing
the order of August 20, 1975 declaring as inadmissible evidence the items or articles obtained
and seized by the apprehending agents without any search warrant, as well as the pictures of said
items attempted to be presented as evidence against the accused.

WHEREFORE, the Order appealed from is hereby set aside and the case is ordered remanded for
further trial and reception of evidence without excluding the articles subject of the seizure or for
such action as the prosecution may take after the re-assessment and re-evaluation of its evidence
as hereinabove directed.
People v. CFI – “Carol doctrine” An undisclosed informer told the Regional Anti-Smuggling
Action Center (RASAC) that a shipment of highly dutiable goods was being shipped
to Manila from Angeles City on a blue Dodge car. RASAC Agents Manuel and
Sabado, upon the order of Col. Abad, Jr. (Chief of Intelligence and Operations
Branch), stationed themselves in the toll gate of the North Diversion Road at
Balintawak, Quezon City to await for such car.

A light blue Dodge car (Plate No. 21-87-73), after giving the toll receipt, sped away
towards Manila. The car was driven by Sgt. Jessie Hope and was accompanied by Monina
Medina. The RASAC Agents gave a chase, overtook the car, and signaled for them to stop
but Sgt. Hope made a U-turn to try to escape and was only prevented by the buses in front
which he could not overtake. The RASAC Agents then succeeded in blocking the car.
Manuel and Sabado saw 4 boxes on the back seat of the Dodge and when they asked what
they were, Hope answered “I do not know”. When asked where they were bringing such
boxes, Medina answered that they were taking them to Tropical Hut at Epifanio de los
Santos. Sabado boarded the Dodge while Manuel boarded the RASAC car and the 2 cars
proceeded to Tropical Hut.
Col. Abad joined the party at Tropical Hut. Medina said that there was a man who was
supposedly going to receive the boxes. Said man did not appear. Col. Abad then “called off
the mission” and brought Medina and Hope to Camp Aguinaldo.
An inspection of Hope’s car revealed that it contained a total of 11 boxes; 4 in the
back seat and 7 in the compartment. The boxes were opened and photographed. The
boxes contained more or less 4,441 wrist watches and more or less 1,075 watch
bracelets (with assorted brands) which were all supposedly untaxed.
A Warrant of Seizure and Detention was then issued against the items as well as the Dodge
car. It was admitted, however, that at the time Hope and Medina were apprehended, the
RASAC Agents were not armed with a warrant of arrest and seizure.
Seizure proceedings then ensued. Hope and Medina disclaimed ownership of the goods.
Ownership was claimed by an intervenor in the proceedings, Antonio del Rosario. Del
Rosario claimed that he bought the items from Buenafe Trading and contracted Medina to
transport the packages to Manila for a Php 1,000 consideration. He also claimed that he
thought that the necessary taxes were already paid.
Hope said that Medina was his girlfriend and that transporting the boxes in his car was a
personal favor. He did not know the contents of the boxes. Medina said that Del Rosario
did not reveal to her the contents of the boxes, just that upon delivering the boxes to
Tropical Hut, the man who will receive them will give her the Php 1,000.
The Collector of Customs declared the seized items and the car not subject of forfeiture.
The items were then to be released to their original owners; with the taxes for the watches
and bracelets were to be paid by Del Rosario.
Thereafter; the City Fiscal of Quezon City, upon finding prima facie evidence, filed a
criminal case against Hope and Medina in CFI Rizal to which they pleaded not guilty.
Agent Sabado was presenting as evidence the pictures of the 11 boxes and the watches and
bracelets. CFI Rizal ruled that the allegedly smuggled articles as well as the pictures of
such articles were inadmissible as evidence because of a warrantless search and
seizure.
Whether items seized in a moving vehicle without a warrant of seizure are inadmissible for
evidence
 No. The Court ruled that even though Hope and Medina were exonerated from
administrative liability (when the Collector of Customs declared the items seized as not
subject to forfeiture) cannot deprive the State’s right to prosecute.
o In the case at bar, the decision of the Collector of Customs, as in other seizure
proceedings, concerns the res rather than the persona. The proceeding is a
probe on contraband or illegally imported goods. These merchandise violated
the revenue law of the country, and as such, have been prevented from being
assimilated in lawful commerce until corresponding duties are paid thereon
and the penalties imposed and satisfied either in the form of fines or of
forfeiture in favor of the government who will dispose of them in accordance
with law.
o The importer or possessor is treated differently. The fact that the administrative
penalty befalls on him is an inconsequential incidence to criminal liability. By the
same token, the probable guilt cannot be negated simply because he was not held
administratively liable.
 The Court uses the Carroll doctrine, based from the Carroll v. United States case, which
allowed the admittance as evidence of 2 of the 68 liquor bottles found in an automobile.
The Carroll doctrine:
o “Searches and seizures without warrant are valid if made upon probable cause,
that is, upon a belief, reasonably arising put of circumstances known to the
seizing officer that an automobile or other vehicle contains that which by law is
subject to seizure and destruction.”
 The constitutional guarantee involves the right against unreasonable searches and
seizures. However, as what can be deemed from the case at hand, the search and seizure
was not unreasonable. The RASAC agents were vested with authority under the
Tariff and Customs Code. The agents did not exceed their authority in apprehending the
vehicle and seizing the items based on probable cause to believe that such items inside
the moving vehicle were smuggled.
 Also, the Court held that there were “rare cases” which can be exempted from the
requirement of a warrant, such as that of a moving vehicle. In applying for a
warrant, one must state the exact and precise location as to where the search is to be
conducted. In the case of a moving vehicle, like the blue Dodge, it was impossible to
determine where such car was to be found.
o The circumstances of the case at bar undoubtedly fall squarely within the
privileged area where search and seizure may lawfully be effected without the
need of a warrant. The facts being no less receptive to the applicability of the
classic American ruling, the latter's force and effect as well as the Mago decision
must be upheld and reiterated in this petition. the find that the constitutional
guarantee has not been violated and the respondent court gravely erred in issuing
the order of August 20, 1975 declaring as inadmissible evidence the items or
articles obtained and seized by the apprehending agents without any search
warrant, as well as the pictures of said items attempted to be presented as
evidence against the accused.
 Petition granted for “privileged area where search and seizure may lawfully be effected
without the need of a warrant.”

The People of the Philippines vs Mikael Malmstedt

“The Swedish National with Hashish Case”

Facts:
Mikael Malmstedt, a Swedish national, was found, via a routine NARCOM inspection at
Kilometer 14, Acop, Tublay Mountain Province, carrying Hashish, a derivative of Marijuana.
RTC La Trinidad found him guilty for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. The accused filed a
petition to the Supreme Court for the reversal of the decision arguing that the search and the
arrest made was illegal because there was no search warrant.

Issue:

Whether or not the decision of the trial court should be reversed (or affirmed) because the
accused argues that the search and arrest was made without a warrant

Held:

The RTC decision is affirmed.

Ratio:

The constitution states that a peace officer or a private person may arrest a person without
a warrant when in his presence the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing,
or is attempting to commit an offense. The offense was recognized with the warrantless search
conducted by NARCOM prompted by probable cause: (1) the receipt of information by
NARCOM that a Caucasian coming from Sagada had prohibited drugs in his possession and (2)
failure of the accused to immediately present his passport.
FACTS: Captain Alen Vasco, the commanding officer of the first regional command
(NARCOM) stationed at camp Dangwa, ordered his men to set up a temporary
checkpoint for the purpose of checking all vehicles coming from the Cordillera Region.
The order to establish a checkpoint was prompted by persistent reports that vehicles
coming from Sagada were transporting marijuana and other prohibited drugs. And an
information also was received about a Caucasian coming from Sagada had in his
possession prohibited drugs.

In the afternoon the bus where accused was riding stopped. Sgt. Fider and CIC Galutan
boarded the bus and announced that they were members of the NARCOM and that they
would conduct an inspection. During the inspection CIC Galutan noticed a bulge on
accused waist. Suspecting the bulge on accused waist to be a gun, the officer asked for
accused’s passport and other identification papers. When accused failed to comply, the
officer required him to bring out whatever it was that was bulging o his waist. And it
turned out to be a pouched bag and when accused opened the same bag the officer
noticed four suspicious looking objects wrapped in brown packing tape. It contained
hashish, a derivative of marijuana.

Thereafter, the accused was invited outside the bus for questioning. But before he
alighted from the bus accused stopped to get two travelling bags. The officer inspects the
bag. It was only after the officers had opened the bags that the accused finally presented
his passport. The two bags contained a stuffed toy each, upon inspection the stuff toy
contained also hashish.
ISSUE: Whether or not there is a violation of the constitutional right against unreasonable
search and seizure

RULING: The Supreme Court held that under Section 5 Rule 113 of the Rules of Court
provides:

“Arrest without warrant; when lawful – a peace officer or a private person may, without a
warrant, arrest a person:

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

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

c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal
establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporary confined while
his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to
another”
Accused was searched and arrested while transporting prohibited drugs. A crime was
actually being committed by the accused and he was caught in flagrante delicto, thus the
search made upon his personal effects falls squarely under paragraph 1 of the foregoing
provision of law, which allows a warrantless search incident to a lawful arrest.

Probable cause has been defined as such facts and circumstances which could lead a
reasonable, discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed, and
that the object sought in connection with the offense are in the placed sought to be
searched.
When NARCOM received the information that a Caucasian travelling from Sagada to
Baguio City was carrying with him a prohibited drug, there was no time to obtain a
search warrant.

G.R. No. 89139 August 2, 1990

ROMEO POSADAS y ZAMORA, petitioner,


vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
respondents.

GANCAYCO, J.:

Facts:

While Pat. Ungab and Umpar were conducting a surveillance along Magallanes Street, Davao
City, they spotted petitioner carrying a "buri" bag and they noticed him to be acting
suspiciously.They approached the petitioner and identified themselves as members of the INP.
Petitioner attempted to flee but his attempt to get away was thwarted by the two notwithstanding
his resistance.

They then checked the "buri" bag of the petitioner where they found one (1) caliber .38 revolver,
two (2) rounds of live ammunition for a .38 caliber gun 2 a smoke (tear gas) grenade, 3 and two
(2) live ammunitions for a .22 caliber gun. 4 the petitioner was asked to show the necessary
license or authority to possess the firearms and ammunitions but failed to do so.

Issue:

Whether or not the warantless arrest and search was valid.

Ruling:

An arrest without a warrant may be effected by a peace officer or private person, among others,
when in his presence the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit an offense; or when an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has
personal knowledge of the facts indicating that the person arrested has committed it.

Contrary to the argument of the Solicitor General that when the two policemen approached the
petitioner, he was actually committing or had just committed the offense of illegal possession of
firearms and ammunitions in the presence of the police officers and consequently the search and
seizure of the contraband was incidental to the lawful arrest in accordance with Section 12, Rule
126 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure; At the time the peace officers in this case
identified themselves and apprehended the petitioner as he attempted to flee they did not know
that he had committed, or was actually committing the offense of illegal possession of firearms
and ammunitions. They just suspected that he was hiding something in the buri bag. They did not
know what its contents were. The said circumstances did not justify an arrest without a warrant.

Malacat v CA
Facts:

On 27 August 1990, at about 6:30 p.m., allegedly in response to bomb threats reported seven days
earlier, Rodolfo Yu of the Western Police District, Metropolitan Police Force of the Integrated National
Police, Police Station No. 3, Quiapo, Manila, was on foot patrol with three other police officers (all of them
in uniform) along Quezon Boulevard, Quiapo, Manila, near the Mercury Drug store at Plaza Miranda.
They chanced upon two groups of Muslim-looking men, with each group, comprised of three to four men,
posted at opposite sides of the corner of “stop and frisk,” where a “warrant and seizure can be effected
without necessarily being preceded by an arrest” and “whose object is either to maintain the status quo
momentarily while the police officer seeks to obtain more information”; and that the seizure of the grenade
from Malacat was incidental to a lawful arrest. The trial court thus found Malacat guilty of the crime of
illegal possession of explosives under Section 3 of PD 1866, and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of
not less than 17 years, 4 months and 1 day of Reclusion Temporal, as minimum, and not more than 30
years of Reclusion Perpetua, as maximum. On 18 February 1994, Malacat filed a notice of appeal
indicating that he was appealing to the Supreme Court. However, the record of the case was forwarded to
the Court of Appeals (CA-GR CR 15988). In its decision of 24 January 1996, the Court of Appeals
affirmed the trial court. Manalili filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court.

Quezon Boulevard - near the Mercury Drug Store. These men were acting suspiciously with “their eyes moving very
fast.” Yu and his companions positioned themselves at strategic points and observed both groups for about 30
minutes. The police officers then approached one group of men, who then fled in different directions. As the
policemen gave chase, Yu caught up with and apprehended Sammy Malacat y Mandar (who Yu recognized,
inasmuch as allegedly the previous Saturday, 25 August 1990, likewise at Plaza Miranda, Yu saw Malacat and 2
others attempt to detonate a grenade). Upon searching Malacat, Yu found a fragmentation grenade tucked inside the
latter’s “front waist line.” Yu’s companion, police officer Rogelio Malibiran, apprehended Abdul Casan from whom a .
38 caliber revolver was recovered. Malacat and Casan were then brought to Police Station 3 where Yu placed an “X”
mark at the bottom of the grenade and thereafter gave it to his commander. Yu did not issue any receipt for the
grenade he allegedly recovered from Malacat. On 30 August 1990, Malacat was charged with violating Section 3 of
Presidential Decree 1866. At arraignment on 9 October 1990, petitioner, assisted by counsel de officio, entered a plea
of not guilty. Malacat denied the charges and explained that he only recently arrived in Manila. However, several
other police officers mauled him, hitting him with benches and guns. Petitioner was once again searched, but nothing
was found on him. He saw the grenade only in court when it was presented. In its decision dated 10 February 1994
but promulgated on 15 February 1994, the trial court ruled that the warrantless search and seizure of Malacat was
akin to a

Issue:

Whether the search made on Malacat is valid, pursuant to the exception of “stop and frisk.”

Held:

The general rule as regards arrests, searches and seizures is that a warrant is needed in order to validly
effect the same. The Constitutional prohibition against unreasonable arrests, searches and seizures
refers to those effected without a validly issued warrant, subject to certain exceptions. As regards valid
warrantless arrests, these are found in Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. A warrantless
arrest under the circumstances contemplated under Section 5(a) has been denominated as one
“in flagrante delicto,” while that under Section 5(b) has been described as a “hot pursuit” arrest.
Turning to valid warrantless searches, they are limited to the following: (1) customs searches; (2)
search of moving vehicles; (3) seizure of evidence in plain view; (4) consent searches; (5) a search
incidental to a lawful arrest; and (6) a “stop and frisk.” The concepts of a “stop-and-frisk” and of a
search incidental to a lawful arrest must not be confused. These two types of warrantless searches differ
in terms of the requisite quantum of proof before they may be validly effected and in their allowable
scope. In a search incidental to a lawful arrest, as the precedent arrest determines the validity of the
incidental search. Here, there could have been no valid in flagrante delicto or hot pursuit arrest preceding
the search in light of the lack of personal knowledge on the part of Yu, the arresting officer, or an overt
physical act, on the part of Malacat, indicating that a crime had just been committed, was being
committed or was going to be committed. Plainly, the search conducted on Malacat could not have been
one incidental to a lawful arrest. On the other hand, while probable cause is not required to conduct a
“stop and frisk,” it nevertheless holds that mere suspicion or a hunch will not validate a “stop and frisk.” A
genuine reason must exist, in light of the police officer’s experience and surrounding conditions, to
warrant the belief that the person detained has weapons concealed about him. Finally, a “stop-and-frisk”
serves a two-fold interest: (1) the general interest of effective crime prevention and detection, which
underlies the recognition that a police officer may, under appropriate circumstances and in an appropriate
manner, approach a person for purposes of investigating possible criminal behavior even without
probable cause; and (2) the more pressing interest of safety and self-preservation which permit the police
officer to take steps to assure himself that the person with whom he deals is not armed with a deadly
weapon that could unexpectedly and fatally be used against the police officer. Here, there are at least
three (3) reasons why the “stop-and-frisk” was invalid: First, there is grave doubts as to Yu’s claim that
Malacat was a member of the group which attempted to bomb Plaza Miranda 2 days earlier. This claim is
neither supported by any police report or record nor corroborated by any other police officer who allegedly
chased that group. Second, there was nothing in Malacat’s behavior or conduct which could have
reasonably elicited even mere suspicion other than that his eyes were “moving very fast” — an
observation which leaves us incredulous since Yu and his teammates were nowhere near Malacat and it
was already 6:30 p.m., thus presumably dusk. Malacat and his companions were merely standing at the
corner and were not creating any commotion or trouble. Third, there was at all no ground, probable or
otherwise, to believe that Malacat was armed with a deadly weapon. None was visible to Yu, for as he
admitted, the alleged grenade was “discovered” “inside the front waistline” of Malacat, and from all
indications as to the distance between Yu and Malacat, any telltale bulge, assuming that Malacat was
indeed hiding a grenade, could not have been visible to Yu. What is unequivocal then are blatant
violations of Malacat’s rights solemnly guaranteed in Sections 2 and 12(1) of Article III of the Constitution.

G.R. No. 104961 October 7, 1994

CONGRESSMAN FRANCISCO B. ANIAG, JR., petitioner,


vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SPECIAL TASK
FORCE, respondents.

Facts:

In preparation for the synchronized national and local elections scheduled on 11 May
1992, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued Resolution No. 2323 otherwise
referred to as the "Gun Ban," promulgating rules and regulations on bearing, carrying
and transporting of firearms or other deadly weapons, on security personnel or
bodyguards, on bearing arms by members of security agencies or police organizations,
and organization or maintenance of reaction forces during the election period. 1
Subsequently, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 2327 providing for the summary
disqualification of candidates engaged in gunrunning, using and transporting of
firearms, organizing special strike forces, and establishing spot checkpoints.

Mr. Serapio P. Taccad, Sergeant-at-Arms, House of Representatives, wrote petitioner


who was then Congressman of the 1st District of Bulacan requesting the return of the
two (2) firearms 3 issued to him by the House of Representatives. Upon being advised of
the request on 13 January 1992 by his staff, petitioner immediately instructed his driver,
Ernesto Arellano, to pick up the firearms from petitioner's house at Valle Verde and
return them to Congress.

Meanwhile, at about five o'clock in the afternoon of the same day, the Philippine
National Police (PNP) headed by Senior Superintendent Danilo Cordero set up a
checkpoint outside the Batasan Complex some twenty (20) meters away from its
entrance. About thirty minutes later, the policemen manning the outpost flagged down
the car driven by Arellano as it approached the checkpoint. They searched the car and
found the firearms neatly packed in their gun cases and placed in a bag in the trunk of
the car. Arellano was then apprehended and detained. He explained that he was
ordered by petitioner to get the firearms from the house and return them to Sergeant-at-
Arms Taccad of the House of Representatives.

On 28 January 1992, the City Prosecutor invited petitioner to shed light on the
circumstances mentioned in Arellano's sworn explanation. Petitioner not only appeared
at the preliminary investigation to confirm Arellano's statement but also wrote the City
Prosecutor urging him to exonerate Arellano. He explained that Arellano did not violate
the firearms ban as he in fact was complying with it when apprehended by returning the
firearms to Congress; and, that he was petitioner's driver, not a security officer nor a
bodyguard. 5

On 6 March 1992, the Office of the City Prosecutor issued a resolution which, among
other matters, recommended that the case against Arellano be dismissed and that the
"unofficial" charge against petitioner be also dismissed. 6

Nevertheless, on 6 April 1992, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 92-0829 directing the
filing of information against petitioner and Arellano for violation of Sec. 261, par. (q), of
B.P. Blg. 881 otherwise known as the Omnibus Election Code, in relation to Sec. 32 of
R.A. No. 7166; 7 and petitioner to show cause why he should not be disqualified from
running for an elective position, pursuant to COMELEC Resolution No. 2327, in relation
to Sec. 32, 33 and 35 of R.A. 7166, and
Sec. 52, par. (c), of B.P. Blg. 881. 8

Petitioner strongly protests against the manner by which the PNP conducted the search.
According to him, without a warrant and without informing the driver of his fundamental
rights the policemen searched his car. The firearms were not tucked in the waist nor
within the immediate reach of Arellano but were neatly packed in their gun cases and
wrapped in a bag kept in the trunk of the car. Thus, the search of his car that yielded the
evidence for the prosecution was clearly violative of Secs. 2 and 3, par. (2), Art. III, of
the Constitution. 11

Issue: Whether he can be validly prosecuted for instructing his driver to return to the
Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives the two firearms issued to him on
the basis of the evidence gathered from the warrantless search of his car

Held:

NO. As a rule, a valid search must be authorized by a search warrant duly issued by an
appropriate authority. However, this is not absolute. Aside from a search incident to a
lawful arrest, a warrantless search had been upheld in cases of moving vehicles and the
seizure of evidence in plain view, 17 as well as the search conducted at police or military
checkpoints which we declared are not illegal per se, and stressed that the warrantless
search is not violative of the Constitution for as long as the vehicle is neither searched
nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is
merely limited to a visual search.

The records do not show that the manner by which the package was bundled led the
PNP to suspect that it contained firearms. There was no mention either of any report
regarding any nervous, suspicious or unnatural reaction from Arellano when the car was
stopped and searched. Given these circumstances and relying on its visual observation,
the PNP could not thoroughly search the car lawfully as well as the package without
violating the constitutional injunction.

An extensive search without warrant could only be resorted to if the officers conducting
the search had reasonable or probable cause to believe before the search that either
the motorist was a law offender or that they would find the instrumentality or evidence
pertaining to the commission of a crime in the vehicle to be searched. 19 The existence of
probable cause justifying the warrantless search is determined by the facts of each
case.

We also recognize the stop-and-search without warrant conducted by police officers on


the basis of prior confidential information which were reasonably corroborated by other
attendant matters. In the case at bench, we find that the checkpoint was set up twenty
(20) meters from the entrance to the Batasan Complex to enforce Resolution No. 2327.
There was no evidence to show that the policemen were impelled to do so because of a
confidential report leading them to reasonably believe that certain motorists matching
the description furnished by their informant were engaged in gunrunning, transporting
firearms or in organizing special strike forces. Nor, as adverted to earlier, was there any
indication from the package or behavior of Arellano that could have triggered the
suspicion of the policemen. Absent such justifying circumstances specifically pointing to
the culpability of petitioner and Arellano, the search could not be valid. The action then
of the policemen unreasonably intruded into petitioner's privacy and the security of his
property, in violation of Sec. 2, Art. III, of the Constitution. Consequently, the firearms
obtained in violation of petitioner's right against warrantless search cannot be admitted
for any purpose in any proceeding.

Asuncion vs. Court of Appeals [GR 125959, 1 February 1999]


Facts: On 6 December 1993, in compliance with the order of the Malabon Municipal Mayor to
intensify campaign against illegal drugs particularly at Barangay Tañong , the Chief of the
Malabon Police Anti-Narcotics Unit ordered his men to conduct patrol on the area with specific
instruction to look for a certain vehicle with a certain plate number and watch out for a certain
drug pusher named Vic Vargas . Pursuant thereto, SPO1 Advincula, PO3 Parcon, PO3 Pilapil and
a police aide we re dispatched at around 11:45 p.m.. The team proceeded to Barangay Tañong
where th ey were joined by their confidential informant and the latter informed them that a gray
Nissan car is always parked therein for the purpose of selling shabu. Wh ile patrolling along
Leoño Street, the confidential informant pointed the gray Nis san car to the policemen and told
them that the occupant thereof has shabu in hi s possession. The policemen immediately flagged
down the said car along First St reet and approached the driver, who turned out to be Jose Maria
Asuncion y Marfo ri, a movie actor using the screen name Vic Vargas and who is also known as
Bing goy. Advincula then asked Asuncion if they can inspect the vehicle. As Asuncion acceded
thereto, Advincula conducted a search on the vehicle and he found a plas tic packet containing
white substance suspected to be methamphetamine hydrochlor ide beneath the driver's seat.
Asuncion told the policemen that he just borrowed the said car and he is not the owner thereof.
Asuncion was thereafter taken at the police headquarters for the purpose of taking his
identification. However, w hen he was frisked by Advincula at the headquarters, the latter groped
something protruding from his underwear, which when voluntarily taken out by the accused
turned out to be a plastic packet containing white substance suspected to be met hamphetamine
hydrochloride. A press conference was conducted the following day p resided by Northern Police
District Director Pureza during which Asuncion admitt ed that the methamphetamine
hydrochloride were for his personal use in his shoot ing. On the other hand, Asuncion denied the
charges against him. He claimed that on that day, "between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m., he was abducted
at gun point in front of the house where his son lives by men who turned out to be members of
the Mal abon Police Anti-Narcotics Unit; that he was told to board at the back seat by t he
policemen who took over the wheels; that he acceded to be brought at the Paga mutang Bayan ng
Malabon for drug test but only his blood pressure was checked in the said hospital; that he was
thereafter brought at the Office of the Malabon Police Anti-Narcotics Unit; and that he is not
aware of what happened at 11:45 p .m. as he was then sleeping at the said office." On 14 June
1994, a decision was rendered by the trial court finding Asuncion guilty beyond reasonable doubt
of the offense charged, adn sentenced him to suffer an indeterminate penalty of 1 y ear 8 months
and 20 days as minimum, to 3 years 6 months and 20 days, as maximum , and to pay a fine of
P3,000.00. On 29 June 1994, a Notice of Appeal was filed and the records of the case were
transmitted by the trial court to the Court of Appeals. On 30 April 1996 a decision was rendered
by the appellate court, modify ing the penalty imposed (reducing the sentence to 6 months of
arresto mayor in i ts maximum period as minimum to 4 years and 2 months of prision
correccional in its medium period as maximum and deleting the fine of P3,000.00 imposed on
Asunc ion). On 6 August 1996, the Court of Appeals denied the motion for reconsiderati on filed
by Asuncion. Asuncion filed a petition for review on certiorari Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether the search upon Asuncions vehicle is valid.
Held: Well-entrenched in this country is the rule that no arrest, search and sei zure can be made
without a valid warrant issued by competent judicial authority. So sacred is this right that no less
than the fundamental law of the land ordai ns it. However, the rule that search and seizure must
be supported by a valid wa rrant is not absolute. The search of a moving vehicle is one of the
doctrinally accepted exceptions to the Constitutional mandate that no search or seizure shal l be
made except by virtue of a warrant issued by a judge after personally deter
mining the existence of probable cause. The prevalent circumstances of the case undoubtedly
bear out the fact that the search in question was made as regards a moving vehicle Asuncion's
vehicle was "flagged down" by the apprehending officer s upon identification. Therefore, the
police authorities were justified in searc hing Asuncion's automobile without a warrant since the
situation demanded immedi ate action. The apprehending officers even sought the permission of
petitioner t o search the car, to which the latter agreed. As such, since the shabu was disco vered
by virtue of a valid warrantless search and Asuncion himself freely gave h is consent to said
search, the prohibited drugs found as a result were admissibl e in evidence.

EN BANC

[G.R. No. 133265. May 29, 2002.]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. QUE MING KHA alias ALFONSO GO and KIM QUE YU
alias ALFONSO QUE, accused-appellants.

Solicitor General for plaintiff appellee.

Dennis R. Gascon for accused-appellants.

Melvyn S. Florencio for accused-appellant Kim Que Yu.

SYNOPSIS

Accused were charged and convicted for violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act. The trial court accorded
credibility on the testimonies of the arresting officers who are presumed to have performed their duties
regularly. Appellant Go, in his appeal, challenged the admissibility of the seized shabu without a warrant
while appellant Que assailed the sufficiency of the evidence against him. The Solicitor General conceded
that the testimonies of the arresting officers were "obvious fabrications." TIaEDC

It was held that every accused is presumed innocent until proven otherwise and his conviction cannot be
based on mere presumption of regularity of performance of official duties; lack of criminal intent and
good faith do not exempt the accused from criminal liability as violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act is
malum prohibitum; and that evidence may be subject of seizure without a warrant when the evidence is
in the plain view of the seizing officer. Appellant Go was found guilty as charged, while appellant Que
was acquitted.

SYLLABUS

1. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; BURDEN OF PROOF; LIES ON PROSECUTION TO PROVE GUILT OF


ACCUSED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. — Every accused in a criminal case is presumed innocent until
proven otherwise. It is the prosecution that has the burden of proving his guilt and it is required that his
guilt be proved beyond reasonable doubt. This Court has ruled time and again that it is only when the
mind is satisfied that the crime has been committed by the person on trial that the judgment should be
for conviction. If the inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of two or more explanations, one
of which is consistent with the innocence of the accused of the crime charged and the other consistent
with their guilt, then the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty and is not sufficient to
support a conviction. The all too clear reason for the age-old ruling is the failure of the prosecution to
discharge its duty to overcome the presumption of innocence. Such is the case at bar with respect to
Que. His conviction cannot be rooted on the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty
accorded to the police officers who made the apprehension. This presumption cannot be used against
Que when the Solicitor General himself concedes that their testimonies are "obvious fabrications."
Appellant Que cannot rot in jail on a sentence of reclusion perpetua on the basis of these "obvious
fabrications." CIAacS

2. CRIMINAL LAW; DANGEROUS DRUGS ACT; ILLEGAL TRANSPORTATION OF REGULATED DRUG,


MALUM PROHIBITUM; LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF EXISTENCE OF CONTRABAND INSIDE VAN, NOT A
DEFENSE. — Section 15, Article III of the Dangerous Drugs Act penalizes "any person who, unless
authorized by law, shall sell, dispense, deliver, transport or distribute any regulated drug." To exonerate
himself, Go claimed that he was not aware of the existence of the contraband at the back of the van. We
are not persuaded. The crime under consideration is malum prohibitum. In such case, the lack of
criminal intent and good faith do not exempt the accused from criminal liability. Thus, Go's contention
that he did not know that there were illegal drugs inside the van cannot constitute a valid defense. Mere
possession and/or delivery of a regulated drug without legal authority is punishable under the
Dangerous Drugs Act. DAHaTc

3. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; WARRANTLESS SEARCH AND SEIZURE; REQUISITES FOR
ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE OBTAINED THEREFROM. — Search and seizure may be made without a
warrant and the evidence obtained therefrom may be admissible in the following instances: (1) search
incident to a lawful arrest; (2) search of a moving motor vehicle; (3) search in violation of customs laws;
(4) seizure of evidence in plain view; (5) when the accused himself waives his right against unreasonable
searches and seizures. The search made in the case at bar falls under the fourth exception.

DECISION

PUNO, J p:

On May 16, 1997, around 5:00 in the afternoon, members of the Central Police District, Batasan Station
No. 6 intercepted a van carrying nine (9) sacks methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu near
Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. The police arrested the driver of the van, Que Ming Kha alias
Alfonso Go (Go), and his companion, Kim Que Yu alias Alfonso Que (Que). SEDaAH

Go and Que were charged before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City with violation of Sec. 15, Article
III in relation to Sec. 2(e), (f), (m), Article I of R.A. 6425 as amended by P.D. 1683, otherwise known as the
Dangerous Drugs Act, in an information that reads as follows:

"That on or about the 16th day of May, 1997 in Quezon City, Philippines, the said accused conspiring
together, confederating with other persons whose true names, identities and whereabouts have not as
yet been ascertained and mutually helping one another, not having been authorized by law to sell,
dispense, deliver, transport or distribute any regulated drug, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully,
feloniously and knowingly transport or distribute 253.8609 kilograms of white crystalline substance
known as "SHABU" containing methamphetamine hydrochloride, which is a regulated drug.

CONTRARY TO LAW." 1

Go and Que were found guilty of the charge and were given the death sentence. The dispositive portion
of the decision states:

"ACCORDINGLY, judgment is hereby rendered finding the accused Que Ming Kha (a.k.a. Alfonso Go or
Que Beng Kha) and Kim Que Yu (a.k.a. Alfonso Que) GUILTY as principals beyond reasonable doubt of
transporting in large scale 253.8609 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride, a.k.a. shabu, in violation
of the Dangerous Drugs Act, as amended, (R.A. 6425), and they are hereby sentenced to DEATH.

In case their sentences on appeal are commuted, it is advised that they be ordered deported after
service of sentence as they are both in the Philippines illegally.

Inasmuch as the bulk of the shabu involved in this case has already been destroyed at the San Lazaro
Crematorium in Manila on July 21, 1997 in the presence of the Secretary of Justice Teofisto Guingona,
the Director of the Dangerous Drugs Board, Manuel Supnet, the Vice-Mayor of Quezon City Herbert
Bautista, prosecutor Luis Maceren, defense counsel Godwin Valdez, a representative of the NBI, the PNP
Chemists and other officials, the remaining shabu retained for purposes of evidence and other related
paraphernalia of contraband are ordered confiscated in favor of the Government and destroyed
pursuant to law upon finality of this decision.

The Khia Pride (sic) van, color blue with Plate No. UPN 595 is ordered forfeited in favor of the State. For
this purpose, the Philippine National Police officer in custody of said van is hereby ordered to transfer
and surrender said vehicle to the Clerk of Court Mercedes Gatmaitan of the Regional Trial Court of
Quezon City to be used for official purposes.

Let a copy of this decision be furnished the Chairman of the Bureau of Immigration." 2

The case is now before us on automatic review.

From the prosecution evidence, it appears that on May 16, 1997, Chief Inspector Gilbert Dela Fuente,
Head of the Intelligence and Investigation Division, Station 6, Central Police District, received a phone call
from an informant that a blue Kia Pregio van with plate number UPN 595 which was being used in the
transport of shabu has been seen within the vicinity of Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City. Dela Fuente
immediately dispatched the three teams to monitor the van. Team 3, composed of team leader Police
Inspector Raul Espejon and team members PO3 Justo Curameng, SPO1 Joselito Velasquez and PO3
Jovencio Villacorte, positioned themselves at Don Antonio Avenue, Barangay Holy Spirit. Around 5:00
o'clock in the afternoon, the team spotted the blue Kia van on the opposite side of the street going
toward the direction of Commonwealth Avenue. Before reaching Commonwealth Avenue, in front of
Andok's Litson Manok, the van hit a seven-year old boy. The van sped away, leaving its young victim
behind. A concerned motorist picked up the boy and rushed him to the hospital. Espejon, in the
meantime, reported to Dela Fuente that they have spotted the blue Kia van. They followed the van after
it sped away and intercepted it at Commonwealth Avenue corner Zuzuarregui Street. The members of
the team alighted from their vehicle and approached the van. They introduced themselves as police
officers to the driver and passenger of the van. The police noted that Go was on the driver's seat while
Que sat on the passenger's seat. Espejon informed Go that he just committed the crime of reckless
imprudence and asked for his driver's license. The police peered through the window of the van and
noticed several sacks placed on the floor at the back of the van. The sacks have Chinese markings and
had a logo which looked like the head of a pig. One of the sacks was open and they noticed that it
contained several plastic bags containing white crystalline substance. The police also asked for the
identification of Go's companion. The latter handed his driver's license which revealed his name as Kim
Que Yu. The police handcuffed Go and Que, confiscated their driver's license and their cellular phones
found at the front seat of the van, and brought them to Police Station No. 6 for investigation. PO3
Curameng drove the van to the police station. They passed by the Kabayan Center to check on the
condition of the boy who was hit by the van. Upon reaching Police Station No. 6, the monitoring team
turned over the suspects and the seized articles to the desk officer. Dela Fuente informed
Superintendent Hercules Cataluna, Chief of the Central Police District, about the incident. The police
inspected the contents of the van in the presence of Superintendent Cataluna and several officials of
Barangay Holy Spirit. They counted nine sacks, eight of which were sealed and one open, revealing
several plastic bags which contained white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu. 3 The arresting
officers thereafter forwarded the seized substance to the PNP Crime Laboratory for examination. Each of
the nine sacks contained 253 plastic bags which contained around one kilo of the white crystalline
substance. 4 Upon examination, the substance was found positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride
or shabu. 5

Both Go and Que claim ignorance about the presence of shabu at the back of the van.

Go stated that two months prior to his apprehension, he came to Manila from Cebu and was employed
as driver by a certain Ah Chai. On May 16, 1997, Ah Chai instructed him to meet with him at Ever
Gotesco in Commonwealth Avenue. Go took a taxicab from Ah Chai's residence in Pasig to their meeting
place. After waiting for some time, Go saw Ah Chai arrive, driving the blue Kia van. Go took over the
wheel but relied on Ah Chai for the direction. Suddenly, a boy crossed the street, prompting Go to
swerve to the left. But the van still hit the boy. Ah Chai lost no time in picking up the boy to bring him to
the hospital. He hailed a tricycle and instructed the driver to bring them to the nearest hospital. Before
he left, Ah Chai instructed Go to watch over the van and assured him that he would return shortly.
Curious onlookers, meanwhile, gathered around the scene of the accident. Then, a car pulled over and a
man in civilian approached him. The man introduced himself as a police officer. He asked Go several
questions, but since he was having difficulty with the language, he remained silent. The man slapped him
several times because of his refusal to answer. While he was being interrogated by the police officer, he
saw a taxicab stop in front of them and his friend from China, Alfonso Que, alighted from the cab. Que
asked him what happened and offered to help him. Go related to him in Chinese the events that
transpired before he arrived. Que talked with the police officer in Go's behalf. Que told Go that the
police officer invited them to the police station for interview. Go agreed after being assured that nothing
bad would happen to them. Go rode with the police officer while Que drove the van to the police
station. When they reached the police station, Go was made to stay in a small room and his hands were
handcuffed. Que, meanwhile, continued to talk with the police officers outside. Later, Que entered the
room. His hands were also handcuffed. He was fuming mad. Que asked him about the contents of the
van. But Go denied any knowledge about the cargo. After they were interrogated by the police officers,
they were brought to the Criminal Investigation Division of the Central Police District where they were
detained. Go denied any involvement in the commission of the offense. He also said that he did not own
any of the cellular phones confiscated inside the van. 6

Que, on the other hand, testified that he runs his own business together with his cousin, Lorenzo Que.
They buy and sell corn, soya beans and other hog feeds. On May 16, 1997, after taking an early lunch, he
went to see his cousin at 12th Avenue, Caloocan City. From Caloocan, he took a jeepney to Novaliches to
see a certain Mr. Chua of Liberty Farm to offer him some of their products. But since Mr. Chua was not at
his office at the time, Que proceeded to Uniwide in Novaliches. From there, he took a taxicab going to
Fairview. He wanted to visit his friend, Henry Co, and offer him a business proposal. He instructed the
taxi driver to take a short cut at Sauyo Road. Que, however, did not reach his destination. While they
were traversing Don Antonio Avenue, Que saw his friend from China, Alfonso Go who seemed to be in
trouble. He noticed a small crowd gathered around him and a man was talking to him. He got off the
taxicab and approached Go. He asked him what happened. Go told Que that the van he was driving had
sideswiped a boy and his employer brought the boy to the hospital, but the latter has not returned. Go
told him that the name of his employer was Ah Chai. The policeman invited them to go to the police
station. The police officer requested Que to drive the van because he wanted Go to ride with him in the
car. Upon reaching the police station, he handed the key to a police office. The policeman told him to
stay in the office while Go was locked inside a small cell. They were told to wait for a while until Go's
employer comes back from the hospital. After waiting for quite some time, a police personnel came in
and reported that they found sacks of shabu inside the van. The police handcuffed Que. He protested.
He denied any knowledge about the contents of the van. But he was nonetheless placed inside the cell
with Go. 7 The police later brought Que and Go to the Batasan Police Detachment. Que testified that he
did not see Espejon at the scene of the accident. He only saw him at the Batasan Police Detachment
when he interrogated Go. He belied the testimony of the police officers who testified before the court.
Que stated that from Batasan Police Station No. 6, they were transferred to Criminal Investigation
Division of the Central Police District where they were detained. 8

To corroborate Que's testimony, the defense also presented other witnesses who were allegedly at the
scene of the accident at the time of the apprehension of Go and Que.

Pedro Loreto, a tricycle driver, testified that on May 16, 1997, around 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon, he
took a passenger to Don Antonio Avenue in Quezon City. When they got to Don Antonio, he saw a crowd
gathered in front of Andok's Litson Manok. After his passenger got off the tricycle, he tried to see what
the commotion was all about. He saw a blue Kia van parked in front of his tricycle. Then he saw a
Chinese man carrying a young boy. The Chinese and the boy boarded his tricycle and the former
instructed him to bring them to the hospital. He brought them to Malvar Hospital along Commonwealth
Avenue. The Chinese paid him P100.00 and then alighted from the tricycle together with the boy. Loreto
went back to ply his route. When asked to identify the person who brought the boy to the hospital, he
said that the man was not in the courtroom. He, however, identified Alfonso Go as the driver of the van.
9

Fermin Dagumang testified that on May 16, 1997, around 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon, he took a tricycle
to Commonwealth Avenue. When he alighted in front of Andok's Litson Manok at Don Antonio, he saw a
blue van parked nearby. The driver of the van was short and stocky and Chinese-looking. Then he
noticed a crowd gathered in front of the store. He went closer and he saw a child lying on the road. A tall
skinny person who looked Chinese took him into his arms. The man, at that time, was looking for a
vehicle to bring the child to the hospital. Dagumang then left the scene. Dagumang said that the man
who carried the boy was not in the courtroom. 10

Elmar Cawiling, the seven-year old boy who was hit by the van, also took the witness stand. He stated
that on May 16, 1997, after the van hit him, a small, Chinese-looking man immediately picked him up
and brought him to the hospital. When asked if it was Alfonso Go who brought him to the hospital, he
replied in the negative. 11

Go raised the following assignment of errors in his Brief:

"1. The lower court [sic] was so full of bias and prejudice against appellant that he was incapable of
rendering a fair, just and correct judgment in the case.

2. The lower court erred in giving credence to the testimonies of the policemen who testified for
the prosecution that they were tailing the Kia Pregio van when it hit the 7-year old ambulant vendor,
Elmar Cawiling; that after hitting the boy, the van sped away; that the policemen chased the van until
they overtook it at the corner of Zuzuarregui Avenue; and that when they overtook the van they found
appellant Que Ming Kha and his co-accused Kim Que Yu inside the van.

3. The lower court erred in not holding that the shabu was the product of illegal search and seizure,
hence not admissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding.

4. The lower court erred in holding that appellant Que Ming Kha 'distributed' or 'transported'
shabu within the meaning of Section 15, Article III of Republic Act No. 6425." 12

Que, on the other hand, cited the following errors:

"1. Appellant was denied the right to an impartial and unbiased court.

2. Testimony of the prosecution witnesses is plainly self-serving, concocted and full of


discrepancies.

3. Discovery of the drugs was accidental and not the result of monitoring or surveillance by the
police.
4. Testimony of actual eyewitnesses was disregarded while that of police officers who were
latecomers to the scene was credited.

5. Eleven reasons given by the trial court as grounds for its decision are products of bias and
prejudice.

6. Owner of shabu is Ah Chai, a person entirely different from appellant Alfonso Que.

7. Fact of warrantless search sustains defense apart from violating constitutional rights of Que.

8. Presumption of innocence must prevail because an honest analysis of the evidence clearly shows
innocence or, at the very least, reasonable doubts." 13

We reverse the decision of the trial court in so far as it found accused-appellant Que guilty of the charge.

In People v. Pagaura 14 we made the cautionary warning that "the court must be extra vigilant in trying
drug cases lest an innocent person is made to suffer the unusually heavy penalties for drug offenses . . . .
In our criminal justice system the overriding consideration is not whether the court doubts the
innocence of the accused but whether it entertains a reasonable doubt as to his guilt. . . . " In the case at
bar, no less than the Solicitor General himself entertains doubt on the guilt of Que and recommends his
acquittal. When the prosecution itself says it failed to prove Que's guilt, the Court should listen and listen
hard, lest it locks up a person who has done no wrong.

We fully agree with the Solicitor General that "persistent doubt exists on the full veracity of the
prosecution's theory as regards his (Que's) participation in the crime." 15 Eye contact with the evidence
of the prosecution against Que will establish that it is incredible as it goes against the grain of our natural
experience and expectation. Right from the start, the prosecution story cannot but raise the quizzical
eyebrow. According to the story, five (5) days before the apprehension of the accused, the policemen
had already gathered detailed data about the Kia Pregio van that would be used in moving a big quantity
of shabu in Quezon City. They knew exactly its model, plate number, color, etc. Despite the wide time
lead, the prosecution does not explain its failure to flush out the true owner of the van who could well
be the drug lord in the case at bar. Certainly, it was not too difficult to discover his identity from the van's
registration papers with the LTO and thereafter monitor the vehicle's movement. Instead, the policemen
meandered around the city, hoping they would encounter the van by chance. We cannot be made to
believe that our policemen catch drug syndicates by using the calculus of chance.

Equally unexplainable in the prosecution story is the reaction of the policemen when they spotted the
van transporting the shabu which they have been hunting for five (5) days. They knew it was carrying
shabu of big quantity. They ought to suspect that its passengers pose a clear danger to their lives. Yet,
nothing in the records shows that PO1 Raul Espejon and PO3 Jesus Curameng called for reinforcement
when they first saw the van. They just serenely tailed the van until it bumped an ice cream-on-sticks
vendor. Again, such an act of throwing caution to the wind strains the seams of credibility of the
policemen-witnesses.
More astonishing is the hit and run story peddled by the prosecution. Don Antonio Avenue, the place
where the van swiped Elmar Cawiling, a 7-year old ambulant vendor, is just a few yards away from the
main Commonwealth road. The street intersects a main road and is a bustling place especially at 5:00
p.m. or after office hours. On both sides of the street can be found commercial establishments like
banks, pharmacies and eating places while the giant Ever Gotesco mall stands across Commonwealth
Avenue. To compound the traffic jam in the area, numerous tricycles that ply the nearby subdivisions
parks operate in the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Don Antonio Avenue. Given the usual traffic
mess in the area, it is inconceivable that the van could speed away after swiping the vendor Cawiling.
Indeed, there is no credible evidence that there were no vehicles in front of the van that could have
impeded its movement. The defense version that the van stopped after hitting Cawiling and that it did
not move as people surrounded it is more worthy of credence as it accords with the traffic situation in
the venue of the accident.

Similarly, the prosecution story on how the accused were arrested and the van brought to the police
station defies reason. To repeat, the policemen declared that they have been on the alert for the van
carrying shabu for about five days. When by chance they spotted the van, they followed it until it sped
away after sideswiping Cawiling. They gave the van a hot pursuit and overtook it after a one kilometer
chase. Again, the expectation is that confronted with a dangerous drug syndicate, the apprehending
officers, with ready guns, would order the driver and passenger of the van to go down with upraised
hands, search them for weapons, handcuff them and then inspect the van for the suspected shabu. The
evidence, however, does not show that policemen Espejon and Curameng followed this standard police
procedure for their own safety.

To be sure, it is critical to ascertain whether the van sped away or whether it remained stationary after
hitting the vendor Cawiling. The pieces of evidence on this issue are hopelessly at odds. The testimonies
of policemen Espejon and Curameng tend to establish that the van with Go and Que inside sped away
and they intercepted it after a kilometer long chase. In contrast, Que declared that he was just passing
by Don Antonio Avenue on board a taxi when he saw his friend Go in the middle of the street after the
accident. He alighted to find out Go's problem. At that time, the van was already parked by the
streetside. As Go was unfamiliar with Tagalog, Que interpreted to him the questions of the policeman.
Later, Go and the van were brought to the police station for investigation. He agreed to accompany Go
who had communication problems. In the station, the van was found to be carrying shabu. He was
arrested together with Go. Only disinterested witnesses could clear the fog of evidence on this
important factual issue. None of the disinterested witnesses, namely, Cawiling, the boy vendor, Loreto,
the tricycle driver who brought Cawiling to the hospital, and Dagumang, the passenger of Loreto,
corroborated the prosecution story that the van carrying Go and Que sped away after sideswiping
Cawiling. Consequently, the trial court erroneously calibrated the evidence against Que and in favor of
the prosecution.

We fully concur with the following analysis of the defense evidence made by the Solicitor General, viz:

"Elmar Cawiling, the ambulant vendor sideswiped by the van, testified that it was not accused-appellant
Kim Que Yu who picked him up but another 'Chinese looking man.' Pedro Loreto, driver of the tricycle
who brought Elmar Cawiling to the hospital, corroborated the testimony of the latter. Pedro Loreto
further testified that there were no police officers at the scene when the accident happened, until the
time he brought the boy to the hospital along with a 'Chinese looking man.' He also identified appellant
Que Ming Kha as the other person inside the van who was seated at the driver's seat. Loreto was later
asked if the other Chinese man, who brought the boy to the hospital, was in the courtroom to which he
politely said 'no.' The defense claims that appellant Kim Que Yu arrived at the scene only after the
tricycle carrying the boy to the hospital had left.

xxx xxx xxx

. . . the records will show that the defense testimonies sufficiently establish that the other man in the
van, aside from the driver, is not Kim Que Yu alias Alfonso Que, but a certain Ah Chai whom the driver,
Appellant Que Ming Kha, identified as Chiang Lai On. Further, verification from the records of Malvar
Medical Foundation, to where the boy, Elmar Cawiling was brought, reveals that it was Chiang Lai On
who brought the boy there as shown by his driver's license No. 96-215658. Thus, Kim Que Yu alias
Alfonso Que could not have been the owner of the illegal contraband as there were only two Chinese
looking men seen inside the van when the accident happened. Appellee cannot see its way clear to
concur with the conviction of Kim Que Yu which might result in the forfeiture of his life, when persistent
doubt exists on the full veracity of the prosecution's theory as regards his participation in the crime. Que
had nothing to do with the loading and transport of the shabu. Not one reliable eyewitness pointed to
him as having been with Go inside the van when it hit Elmar Cawiling. Not one witness saw him get off
the van when the accident happened. Not one credible eyewitness testified that Kim Que Yu was seen at
the vicinity of the bumping of the child at the time of the accident until shortly before the police arrived.

On the contrary, the undisputed civilian eyewitnesses confirmed Kim Que Yu's story that he just chanced
upon the accident and that he got off the taxicab where he was riding when he saw his fellow
Fookienese in some kind of trouble with a crowd of curious onlookers milling around the accident scene.
The testimony of disinterested eyewitnesses shows that when Que arrived, the injured child had already
been brought to the hospital. Que did not see him. The police who arrived even later than Que did not
see the accident victim. Much less did they see the accident itself. As will be shown later, the testimonies
of the policemen who were the only prosecution witnesses on the accident are shot through and
through with discrepancies and obvious fabrication.

The eyewitnesses who corroborated the testimony of Que were Elmar Cawiling, the boy victim of the
accident; Pedro Loreto, the tricycle driver who drove Cawiling to the hospital; and Fermin Dagumang,
the passenger of the tricycle who got off to give way to the accident victim.

It is beyond dispute that they were at the scene of the accident. There is no reason to doubt the truth of
their testimony, especially when it bears the hallmarks of being spontaneous, straightforward,
categorical and remains consistent." 16

The judgment of the trial court convicting Que despite the paucity of the prosecution evidence can only
be attributed to the racial bias of the trial judge against Chinese. The trial judge unblushingly revealed
this racial prejudice in his decision itself when he wrote: 17
"The Chinese in this country ever since the Spanish regime are known to buy people. By default and
other reasons, they are lording it over our land economically despite Dr. Jose P. Rizal, Andres Bonifacio,
and others. They are known to be cheapskates or kuripot, but, not when they want to attain certain
things. Since the large contraband involved here belongs clearly to a criminal syndicate, such syndicate of
Chinese ruffians would have spared no amount to pollute our justice system as indeed the illegal entry
and stay of Alfonso Go and Alfonso Que have shown, together with their contemptuous disregard of our
penal laws on falsification and use of aliases and our tax laws by their non-payment of any tax since
1987."

Even the Solicitor General denounced the relentless prejudice of the trial judge, viz: 18

"The judge from the very start attempted to conduct trial even if there was no preliminary investigation
(May 23, 1997 hearing). In his own words 'an exculpatory existence has to be proved in court (May 27,
1997 hearing).' Only after being reminded of the requirements of due process did he postpone
arraignment so that the preliminary investigation could be conducted.

During arraignment, the judge ignored the unfamiliarity of appellant Que Ming Kha with English or
Tagalog.

Contrary to the familiarity with Tagalog and Visayan, respectively, to enable the understanding of the
highly technical terms in an arraignment (July 15, 1997 hearing).

Up to the end of trial, this prejudice against one he wrongly believed was an undocumented alien
namely Kim Que Yu colored the court's judgment.

The manner and attitude of the judge in the aforesaid proceedings bespeaks of his partiality. His
prejudgment or hasty conclusions does (sic) not speak well relative to the utmost circumspection he
should exercise in the discharge of his duties to preclude suspicion on his impartiality (Jarquete vs.
Boncuaras, 60 SCRA 217; Yanuario vs. Paraguay, 71 SCRA 11).

The unfortunate bias of the judge against the Chinese is expressed in the decision. The judge presumed
an accused as guilty because he is Chinese. The accused is prejudged guilty because of his nationality
and his status as an illegal overstaying alien."

More need not be said.

Every accused in a criminal case is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. It is the prosecution that
has the burden of proving his guilt and it is required that his guilt be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
This Court has ruled time and again that it is only when the mind is satisfied that the crime has been
committed by the person on trial that the judgment should be for conviction. 19 If the inculpatory facts
and circumstances are capable of two or more explanations, one of which is consistent with the
innocence of the accused of the crime charged and the other consistent with their guilt, then the
evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty and is not sufficient to support a conviction. 20 The
all to clear reason for the age-old ruling is the failure of the prosecution to discharge its duty to
overcome the presumption of innocence. Such is the case at bar with respect to Que. His conviction
cannot be rooted on the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty accorded to the police
officers who made the apprehension. This presumption cannot be used against Que when the Solicitor
General himself concedes that their testimonies are "obvious fabrications." Appellant Que cannot rot in
jail on a sentence of reclusion perpetua on the basis of these "obvious fabrications."

We now come to the appeal of accused-appellant Go. It has been established that Go was driving the
van that carried the contraband at the time of its discovery. He was therefore caught in the act of
transporting a regulated drug without authority which is punishable under the Dangerous Drugs Act.
Section 15, Article III of the Dangerous Drugs Act penalizes "any person who, unless authorized by law,
shall sell, dispense, deliver, transport or distribute any regulated drug."

To exonerate himself, Go claimed that he was not aware of the existence of the contraband at the back
of the van. We are not persuaded. The Crime under consideration is malum prohibitum. In such case, the
lack of criminal intent and good faith do not exempt the accused from criminal liability. Thus, Go's
contention that he did not know that there were illegal drugs inside the van cannot constitute a valid
defense. Mere possession and/or delivery of a regulated drug without legal authority is punishable
under the Dangerous Drugs Act. 21

Go further argued that the search made on the van was illegal and therefore the shabu discovered from
that search is inadmissible as evidence. We do not agree.

The Constitution proscribes search and seizure without a judicial warrant and any evidence obtained
without such warrant is inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. The rule is, however, not
absolute. Search and seizure may be made without a warrant and the evidence obtained therefrom may
be admissible in the following instances: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest; (2) search of a moving
motor vehicle; (3) search in violation of customs laws; (4) seizure of evidence in plain view; (5) when the
accused himself waives his right against unreasonable searches and seizures. 22 The search made in the
case at bar falls under the fourth exception. We held in People vs. Doria: 23

"Objects falling in plain view of an officer who has a right to be in a position to have that view are subject
to seizure even without a search warrant and may be introduced in evidence. The 'plain view' doctrine
applies when the following requisites concur: (a) the law enforcement officer in search of the evidence
has a prior justification for an intrusion or is in a position from which he can view a particular area; (b)
the discovery of evidence in plain view is inadvertent; (c) it is immediately apparent to the officer that
the item he observes may be evidence of a crime, contraband or otherwise subject to seizure. The law
enforcement officer must lawfully make an initial intrusion or properly be in a position from which he
can particularly view the area. In the course of such lawful intrusion, he came inadvertently across a
piece of evidence incriminating the accused. The object must be open to eye and hand and its discovery
inadvertent."

The facts show that while the van was traversing Don Antonio Avenue in Quezon City, it accidentally hit a
seven-year old ambulant vendor. The van stopped and the owner got off to bring the boy to the hospital.
A police officer who witnessed the accident approached the van to apprehend the driver for reckless
imprudence. As he stood near the van, he saw through the lightly tinted window of the van several sacks
placed at the back of the van. One of the sacks was open, revealing several plastic bags containing white
crystalline substance which the police suspected to be shabu. Clearly, the prohibited substance was
within the plain view of the police officer who was in a position to be near the van at the time. The
substance is therefore not a product of an illegal search and not inadmissible as evidence. HEISca

We now discuss the penalty that should be imposed on the guilty appellant. Section 15, Article III of the
Dangerous Drugs Act imposes the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from five
hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to ten million pesos (P10,000,000.00) for the offense. The law
thus prescribes a penalty composed of two indivisible penalties. Under Article 63 of the Revised Penal
Code, in such case, when there are neither mitigating nor aggravating circumstances, the lesser penalty
shall be applied. There being no mitigating nor aggravating circumstance in this case, the lesser penalty
of reclusion perpetua should be imposed on Go. 24

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Court finds accused-appellant Que Ming Kha alias Alfonso Go GUILTY as charged.
He is sentenced to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA. Accused-appellant Kim Que Yu alias
Alfonso Que is ACQUITTED. The Director of the Bureau of Corrections is directed to order his immediate
release and to report to this Court his compliance with this order within five (5) days from notice hereof.
The remaining shabu retained for purposes of evidence and other related paraphernalia are ordered
confiscated in favor of the government and destroyed in accordance with law. DHTECc

SO ORDERED.

TOMAS SALVADOR vs. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES [G.R. No. 146706. July 15,
2005]

Facts: On June 3, 1994, a Special Mission Group from the PAF Special Operations Squadron
conducted routine surveillance operations at the Manila Domestic Airport to check on reports of
alleged drug trafficking and smuggling being facilitated by certain PAL personnel. They were
ordered to keep close watch on the second airplane, an Airbus 300 parked inside the Domestic
Airport terminal. At around 11:30 that same evening, three (3) persons had boarded the Airbus
300. The team did not move, but continued its surveillance. At 12:15 a.m. the team leader
reported that the three (3) persons who earlier boarded the Airbus 300 had disembarked with
their abdominal areas bulging and then boarded an airplane tow truck with its lights off. At the
Lima Gate of the Domestic Airport, the team blocked and stopped the tow truck. The team leader
identified himself and asked the four (4) persons on board to alight, and approached Aurelio
Mandin whose uniform was partly open, showing a girdle. Then, a package wrapped in brown
packaging tape fell. Suspecting that the package contained smuggled items, the leader yelled to
his teammates, “Positive!” Thereupon, the rest of the team surrounded petitioner and his two co-
accused who surrendered without a fight. The team searched their bodies and found that the three
were wearing girdles beneath their uniforms, all containing packets wrapped in packaging tape.
Mandin yielded five (5) packets, while petitioner and Santos had four (4) each. The team
confiscated the packets and brought all the accused to the PAFSECOM Office.

Issue: Whether or not the seized items are admissible in evidence.

Held: Our jurisprudence provides for privileged areas where searches and seizures may lawfully
be effected sans a search warrant. These recognized exceptions include: (1) search of moving
vehicles; (2) search in plain view; (3) customs searches; (4) waiver or consented searches; (5)
stop-and-frisk situations; and (6) search incidental to a lawful arrest. Here, it should be noted that
during the incident in question, the special mission of the PAF operatives was to conduct a
surveillance operation to verify reports of drug trafficking and smuggling by certain PAL
personnel in the vicinity of the airport. In other words, the search made by the PAF team on
petitioner and his co-accused was in the nature of a customs search. As such, the team properly
effected the search and seizure without a search warrant since it exercised police authority under
the customs law. Law enforcers who are tasked to effect the enforcement of the customs and
tariff laws are authorized to search and seize, without a search warrant, any article, cargo or other
movable property when there is reasonable cause to suspect that the said items have been
introduced into
the Philippines in violation of the tariff and customs law. They may likewise conduct a
warrantless search of any vehicle or person suspected of holding or conveying the said articles,
as in the case at bar.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. 82544 June 28, 1988

HARVEY vs. SANTIAGO

FACTS:

Petitioners Andrew Harvey and John Sherman, 52 and 72 years, respectively, are both
American nationals residing at Pagsanjan, Laguna, while Adriaan Van Elshout, 58 years
old, is a Dutch citizen also residing at Pagsanjan, Laguna.

The case stems from the apprehension of petitioners on 27 February 1988 from their
respective residences by agents of the Commission on Immigration and Deportation
(CID) by virtue of Mission Orders issued by respondent Commissioner Miriam Defensor
Santiago of the CID. Petitioners are presently detained at the CID Detention Center.
Petitioners were among the twenty-two (22) suspected alien pedophiles who were
apprehended after three months of close surveillance by CID agents in Pagsanjan,
Laguna. Two (2) days after apprehension, or on 29 February 1988, seventeen (17) of
the twenty-two (22) arrested aliens opted for self-deportation and have left the country.
One was released for lack of evidence; another was charged not for being a pedophile
but for working without a valid working visa. Thus, of the original twenty two (22), only
the three petitioners have chosen to face deportation.

Seized during petitioners apprehension were rolls of photo negatives and photos of the
suspected child prostitutes shown in salacious poses as well as boys and girls engaged
in the sex act. There were also posters and other literature advertising the child
prostitutes.

ISSUES:

1) Whether or not the CID has the authority to arrest and detain petitioners pending
determination of the existence of a probable cause leading to an administrative
investigation.

2) Whether or not the CID violated Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution
prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures.

HELD:

There can be no question that the right against unreasonable searches and seizures
guaranteed by Article III, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution, is available to all persons,
including aliens, whether accused of crime or not (Moncado vs. People's Court, 80 Phil.
1 [1948]. One of the constitutional requirements of a valid search warrant or warrant of
arrest is that it must be based upon probable cause. Probable cause has been defined
as referring to "such facts and circumstances antecedent to the issuance of the warrant
that in themselves are sufficient to induce a cautious man to rely on them and act in
pursuance thereof." (People vs. Syjuco 64 Phil. 667 [1937]; Alverez vs. CFI, 64 Phil. 33
[1937]).

The 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure also provide that an arrest with a warrant may
be effected by a peace officer or even a private person (1) when such person has
committed, actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense in his presence;
and (2) when an offense has, in fact, been committed and he has personal knowledge
of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it (Rule 113, Section 5).

In this case, the arrest of petitioners was based on probable cause determined after
close surveillance for three (3) months during which period their activities were
monitored. The existence of probable cause justified the arrest and the seizure of the
photo negatives, photographs and posters without warrant. Those articles were seized
as an incident to a lawful arrest and, are therefore, admissible in evidence.
"The requirement of probable cause, to be determined by a Judge, does not extend to
deportation proceedings." Deportation proceedings are administrative in character. An
order of deportation is never construed as a punishment. It is preventive, not a penal
process. It need not be conducted strictly in accordance with ordinary Court
proceedings.

It is of course well-settled that deportation proceedings do not constitute a criminal action.


The order of deportation is not a punishment, (Maliler vs. Eby, 264 U.S., 32), it being
merely the return to his country of an alien who has broken the conditions upon which he
could continue to reside within our borders

Section 37 of the Immigration Law, which empowers the Commissioner of Immigration to


issue warrants for the arrest of overstaying aliens is constitutional. The arrest is a stop
preliminary to the deportation of the aliens who had violated the condition of their stay in
this country. (Morano vs. Vivo, L-22196, June 30, 1967, 20 SCRA 562).

The Petition is dismissed.

2. Warrantless Arrest

a. When justified

e. Exceptions construed strictly

Second Division

People v. Burgos

GR No. L-68955

September 4, 1986

Gutierrez, J:

Facts: According to the government, one Cesar Masamlok surrendered to the authorities and pointed
accused Ruben Burgos as a member of the NPA who threatened to kill him and his family if he
refused to join. The police then formed a task force to arrest Burgos. They went to Burgos’
residence where they saw him plowing his field. They arrested him and recovered from his house
a caliber .38 revolver buried under the ground. The arrest was made without any warrant or at
least a search warrant. He was also not reminded of his constitutional rights.

However, according to accused Burgos, he was not a member of the NPA. The gun was actually
buried by Masamlok himself a few days before the arrest without the former’s knowledge since he
was not in his house then. It was only his wife who was present and she was threatened by
Masamlok not to report the gun to the authorities. After his warrantless arrest, he disclosed that
he was tortured for days to admit the ownership of the recovered revolver.

Issues: 1st Issue:

Whether or not the warrantless arrest of Burgos is justified

2nd Issue:

Whether or not the exceptions in arrest with warrant can be liberally construed as in the case of
Burgos’ arrest

Held: 1. No, the warrantless arrest of Burgos is not justified.

2. No, the exceptions must be strictly construed.

Ratio: The warrantless arrest of Ruben Burgos was not justified

We find no compelling reason for the haste with which the arresting officers sought to arrest the
accused. We fail to see why they failed to first go through the process of obtaining a warrant of
arrest, if indeed they had reasonable ground to believe that the accused had truly committed a
crime. There is no showing that there was a real apprehension that the accused was on the
verge of flight or escape. Likewise, there is no showing that the whereabouts of the
accused were unknown.

The basis for the action taken by the arresting officer was the verbal report made by Masamlok
who was not required to subscribe his allegations under oath. There was no compulsion for him
to state truthfully his charges under pain of criminal prosecution. Consequently, the need to go
through the process of securing a search warrant and a warrant of arrest becomes even clearer.
The arrest of the accused while he was plowing his field is illegal. The arrest being unlawful, the
search and seizure which transpired afterwards could not likewise be deemed legal as being
mere incidents to a valid arrest.

(Note: Please read the discussion about the exceptions to further understand why the
warrantless arrest of Burgos was not justified)

The exceptions must be strictly construed

Rule 113, Section 6 of the Rules of Court, provides the exceptions as follows:
a) When the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is about to commit
an offense in his presence;

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;

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

Under Section 6(a) of Rule 113, the officer arresting a person who has just committed, is
committing, or is about to commit an offense must have personal knowledge of that fact. The
offense must also be committed in his presence or within his view.

There is no such personal knowledge in this case. Whatever knowledge was possessed by the
arresting officers, it came in its entirety from the information furnished by Cesar Masamlok. The
location of the firearm was given by the appellant's wife.

At the time of the appellant's arrest, he was not in actual possession of any firearm or subversive
document. Neither was he committing any act which could be described as subversive. He was,
in fact, plowing his field at the time of the arrest.

The right of a person to be secure against any unreasonable seizure of his body and any
deprivation of his liberty is a most basic and fundamental one. The statute or rule which allows
exceptions to the requirement of warrants of arrest is strictly construed. Any exception must
clearly fall within the situations when securing a warrant would be absurd or is manifestly
unnecessary as provided by the Rule. We cannot liberally construe the rule on arrests without
warrant or extend its application beyond the cases specifically provided by law. To do so would
infringe upon personal liberty and set back a basic right so often violated and so
deserving of full protection.

Can the Reasonableness Test be used to justify the warrantless arrest made against
Burgos? (Under Sec. 6(b))

No.

The government reasoned that the information given by Cesar Masamlok was sufficient to induce
a reasonable ground that a crime has been committed and that the accused was probably guilty
thereof.

In arrests without a warrant under Section 6(b), however, it is not enough that there is reasonable
ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a crime. A crime must in fact
or actually have been committed first. That a crime has actually been committed is an
essential precondition. It is not enough to suspect that a crime may have been committed. The
fact of the commission of the offense must be undisputed. The test of reasonable ground
applies only to the identity of the perpetrator.

Go vs Court of Appeals G.R. No. 101837 Feb. 11, 1992


FACTS:
On July 2 1991, Eldon Maguan was allegedly shot to death by accused Rolito Go due
to a traffic altercation when petitioner’s car and the victim’s car nearly bumped each other. The
Security Guard of the “Cravings Bake Shop” saw the whole incident and point herein petitioner
as the gunman, which he positively identified when questioned by the authorities. Being
convinced of the suspect’s identity, the police launched a manhunt operation that caused
petitioner to present himself before the San Juan Police Station to verify the said issue; he was
then detained by the police.

ISSUE:
Whether or not herein petitioner’s arrest valid?

RULING:
The reliance of both petitioner and the Solicitor General upon Umil v.Ramos is, in the
circumstances of this case, misplaced. In the instant case, the offense for which petitioner was
arrested was murder, an offense which was obviously commenced and completed at one definite
location in time and space. No one had pretended that the fatal shooting of Maguan was a
"continuing crime."

..... none of the "arresting" officers had any "personal knowledge" of facts indicating
that petitioner was the gunman who had shot Maguan. The information upon which the police
acted had been derived from statements made by alleged eyewitnesses to the shooting — one
stated that petitioner was the gunman; another was able to take down the alleged gunman's car's
plate number which turned out to be registered in petitioner's wife's name. That information did
not, however, constitute "personal knowledge."

ROLITO GO y TAMBUNTING vs. COURT OF APPEALS


FACTS

An information was filed charging herein petitioner Rolito Go for murder before the Regional
Trial Court of Metro Manila. Petitioner voluntarily presented himself together with his two
lawyers to the police upon obtaining knowledge of being hunted by the latter. However, he was
immediately detained and denied his right of a preliminary investigation unless he executes and
sings a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code. Upon omnibus motion
for immediate release on recognizance or on bail and proper preliminary investigation on the
ground that his warrantless arrest was unlawful and no preliminary investigation was conducted
before the information was filed, which is violative of his rights, the same was granted but later
on reversed by the lower court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The appellate court in
sustaining the decision of the lower court held that petitioner's warrantless arrest was valid in
view of the fact that the offense was committed, the petitioner was clearly identified and there
exists valid information for murder filed against petitioner

Hence, the petitioner filed this present petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court.

ISSUE/S:
The issues assailed in the case at bar are the following:

1. whether or not the warrantless arrest of herein petitioner was lawful, and
2. whether or not petitioner waived his right to preliminary investigation.

RULING:
The general rule on arrest provides that the same is legitimate if effected with a valid warrant.
However, there are instances specifically enumerated under the law when a warrantless arrest
may be considered lawful. Despite that, the warrantless arrest of herein petitioner Rolito Go does
not fall within the terms of said rule. The police were not present at the time of the commission
of the offense, neither do they have personal knowledge on the crime to be committed or has
been committed not to mention the fact that petitioner was not a prisoner who has escaped from
the penal institution. In view of the above, the allegation of the prosecution that petitioner needs
to sign a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code before a preliminary
investigation may be conducted is baseless. In this connection, petitioner has all the right to ask
for a preliminary investigation to determine whether is probable cause that a crime has been
committed and that petitioner is probably guilty thereof as well as to prevent him from the
hassles, anxiety and aggravation brought by a criminal proceeding. This reason of the accused is
substantial, which he should not be deprived of.

On the other hand, petitioner did not waive his right to have a preliminary investigation contrary
to the prosecutor's claim. The right to preliminary investigation is deemed waived when the
accused fails to invoke it before or at the time of entering a pleas at arraignment. The facts of the
case show that petitioner insisted on his right to preliminary investigation before his arraignment
and he, through his counsel denied answering questions before the court unless they were
afforded the proper preliminary investigation. For the above reasons, the petition was granted
and the ruling of the appellate court was set aside and nullified. The Supreme Court however,
contrary to petitioner's allegation, declared that failure to accord the right to preliminary
investigation did not impair the validity of the information charging the latter of the crime of
murder.

People v. Mengote y Tejas

Unlawful warrantless arrest; violation of right against

illegal search and seizure

FACTS

August 8, 1987: Western Police District received a telephone call from an informer that there were 3 suspicious-
looking persons at the corner of Juan Luna and North Bay Boulevard, Tondo Manila and because of it, a surveillance
team of plainclothesmen were then dispatched to the place.

Patrolmen saw 2 men “looking from side to side”, one of whom was holding his abdomen. The patrolmen approached
these persons and identified themselves as policemen where the 2 “suspicious-looking men” allegedly tried to run
away but were unable to escape because other lawmen surrounded them.

The suspects were then searched and one of them who turned out to be Mengote y Tejas was found with .38 caliber
Smith and Wesson revolver with 6 live bullets in the chamber. His companion, identified as Morellos had a fan knife
secreted in his front right pants pocket. The weapons were then taken and Mengote and Morellos were turned over
police headquarters for investigation.
August 11, 1987: Mengote y Tejas was then filed before RTC for a violation of PD 1866 “Illegal Possession of
Firearms”.

Aside from the policemen, the prosecution also presented Rigoberto Danganan who identified the .38 caliber Smith
and Wesson revolver as among the articles stolen from him during a robbery in his house in Malabon. Danganan
pointed at Mengote y Tejas as one of the robbers.

The defense side however, Mengote, made no effort to prove that he owned the firearm or that he was licensed to
possess it and claimed instead that the weapon had been "planted" on him at the time of his arrest.

RTC: Mengote was convicted for violation of PD 1866 and sentenced to reclusion perpetua.

As appeal however by Mengote, it is submitted in the Appellant's Brief that:

-the revolver should not have been admitted in evidence because of its illegal seizure, no warrant
therefor having been previously obtained.

-Neither could it have been seized as an incident of a lawful arrest because the arrest of Mengote
was itself unlawful, having been also effected without a warrant.

-also contends that the testimony regarding the alleged robbery in Danganan's house was
irrelevant and should also have been disregarded by the trial court.

ISSUE:
Whether the warrantless search and seizure was illegal?

Whether the warrantless arrest was illegal?

HELD:
Yes, the warrantless search and arrest was illegal.

There is no question that evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search or seizure is


inadmissible in any proceeding for any purpose. In fact, illegal search or seizure is an absolute
prohibition of Article 3(2) of the Constitution. The Solicitor General, however, while conceding the
rule, maintains that it is not applicable in the case at bar. His reason is that the arrest and search of
Mengote and the seizure of the revolver from him were lawful under Rule 113, Section 5, of the
Rules of Court:

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

(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is


actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;
(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal
knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed
it; and
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a
penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or
temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being
transferred from one confinement to another.
SC: Does not agree with the Solicitor General.
Par.c of Section 5 is obviously inapplicable as Mengote was not an escapee from a penal
institution when he was arrested. We therefore confine ourselves to determine lawfulness
of his arrest under either Par. (a) or Par. (b) of this section.
Paragraphs a and b however, have not been established in the case.
At the time of the arrest in question, Mengote y Tejas was merely "looking from side to side" and
"holding his abdomen," according to the arresting officers themselves. There was apparently no
offense that had just been committed or was being actually committed or at least being attempted
by Mengote in their presence.
As to the argument actual existence of an offense was not necessary as long as Mengote's acts
"created a reasonable suspicion on the part of the arresting officers and induced in them the belief
that an offense had been committed and that the accused-appellant had committed it."
SC: “looking from side to side” and “holding his abdomen” and in a place not exactly
forsaken certainly do not constitute sinister acts.
It would have been different if Mengote had been apprehended at an ungodly hour and in a place
where he had no reason to be, like a darkened alley at 3 o'clock in the morning. But he was
arrested at 11:30 in the morning and in a crowded street shortly after alighting from a passenger
jeep with his companion. He was not skulking in the shadows but walking in the clear light of day.
There was nothing clandestine about his being on that street at that busy hour in the blaze of the
noonday sun.

People v. Malmstedt (Court sustained the warrantless arrest of the accused because there was a
bulge in his waist that excited the suspicion of the arresting officer and, upon inspection, turned out
to be a pouch containing hashish) and People v. Claudio (accused boarded a bus and placed the
buri bag she was carrying behind the seat of the arresting officer while she herself sat in the seat
before him. His suspicion aroused, he surreptitiously examined the bag, which he found to contain
marijuana. He then and there made the warrantless arrest and seizure that we subsequently
upheld on the ground that probable cause had been sufficiently established) do not apply to this
case. These cases do not apply for there was nothing to support the arresting officers'
suspicion other than Mengote's darting eyes and his hand on his abdomen. By no stretch
of imagination could it have been inferred from these acts that an offense has been
committed, was actually being committed or was at least being attempted in their
presence.
Instead, the case before us is similar to People v. Aminnudin where the Court held that the
warrantless arrest of the accused was unconstitutional. This was effected while he was coming
down a vessel, to all appearances no less innocent than the other disembarking passengers. He
had not committed nor was he actually committing or attempting to commit an offense in the
presence of the arresting officers. He was not even acting suspiciously. In short, there was no
probable cause that, as the prosecution incorrectly suggested, dispensed with the constitutional
requirement of a warrant.

SC: Moreover, Paragraph b is all the more not applicable for its requirements have not been
satisfied. The prosecution has not shown that at the time of Mengote's arrest an offense had in fact
just been committed and that the arresting officers had personal knowledge of facts indicating that
Mengote had committed it. All they had was hearsay information from the telephone caller, and
about a crime that had yet to be committed.

As for the illegal possession or the firearm found on Mengote's person, the policemen discovered
this only after he had been searched and the investigation conducted later revealed that he was
not its owners nor was he licensed to possess it. Before these events, the peace officers had no
knowledge even of Mengote' identity, let alone the fact (or suspicion) that he was unlawfully
carrying a firearm or that he was involved in the robbery of Danganan's house. (In short there was
no investigation done, policemen had no personal knowledge about Mengote)
It would be a sad day, indeed, if any person could be summarily arrested and searched just
because he is holding his abdomen, even if it be possibly because of a stomachache, or if a peace
officer could clamp handcuffs on any person with a shifty look on suspicion that he may have
committed a criminal act or is actually committing or attempting it. Without the evidence of the
firearm taken from him at the time of his illegal arrest, the prosecution has lost its most important
exhibit and must therefore fail. The testimonial evidence against Mengote (which is based on the
said firearm) is not sufficient to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt of the crime imputed to
him.
There is no need therefore to discuss the other issue in depth as the ruling is sufficient
enough to sustain Mengote's exoneration.

FINAL DISPOSITIVE PORTION: Decision is reversed and set aside. Mengote is acquitted.

Manalili vs CA

Facts:
This is a petition for certiorari seeking the reversal of CA’s decision in affirming TC’s decision
on convicting Manalili of illegal possession of prohibited drug violating RA 6425.
Police operatives Espiritu, Lumabas and driver Enriquez conducted surveillance along the front
of Kalookan Cemetery based on the information that drug addicts were roaming around in the
area, saw a man who appeared to be high on drugs and introduced themselves as policemen. Said
man avoided them and tried to resist, when they asked what the man was holding in his hand, the
man held out his wallet and allowed Espiritu to examine it, who found what he suspected to be
crushed mj leaves. The man was brought to the Anti-Narcotics Unit and turned out to be
Manalili. The substance found on Manalili’s wallet was sent to NBI Foresic Chemistry Section
and was confirmed as mj.
Manalili’s version of the story was that early afternoon he was riding in a tricycle when 3
policemen stopped the tricycle and informed them of the suspected possession of mj, the
policemen bodily searched both Manalili and the driver and upon finding nothing illegal on their
persons, let the driver go but brought Manalili along to the police station. Manalili while on the
way to the station saw a neighbor whom he signaled to follow them and when he was again
searched in the station, he was asked to strip his pants where they found nothing illegal. Said
neighbor then asked the policemen to let Manalili go seeing as they had not found anything
illegal but Manalili was put on a cell who was brought to a fiscal later that day and was told not
to say anything despite his saying that the policemen had not found mj on his person. Said
tricycle driver and neighbor testified on court as to how the 2 searches yielded nothing illegal on
Manalili’s person.

Issues:
1. W/N evidence seized during a stop-and-frisk is admissible.
2. W/N Manalili’s actions constituted a waiver of his rights.
3. W/N the evidence is sufficient to prove Manalili’s guilt.

Ruling:
I. I. In Terry vs Ohio, a stop-and-frisk was defined as the vernacular designation of the right of a
police officer to stop a citizen on the street, interrogate him and pat him for weapons: W)here a
police officer observes an unusual conduct which leads him reasonably to conclude in light of his
experience that criminal activity may be afoot and that the persons with whom he is dealing may
be armed and presently dangerous, where in the course of investigating this behavior he
identified himself as a policeman and makes reasonable inquiries, and where nothing in the
initial stages of the encounter serves to dispel his reasonable fear for his own or others' safety, he
is entitled for the protection of himself and others in the area to conduct a carefully limited
search of the outer clothing of such persons in an attempt to discover weapons which might be
used to assault him. Such a search is a reasonable search under the Fourth Amendment, and any
weapon seized may properly be introduced in evidence against the person from whom they were
taken.
It did not, however abandon the rule that the police must, whenever practicable, obtain advance
judicial approval of searches and seizures through the warrant procedure, excused only by
exigent circumstances. As People vs Lacerna enumerated 5 recognized exceptions to the rule
against warrantless searches and seizures: 1) search incidental to lawful arrest; 2) search of
moving vehicles; 3) seizure in plain view; 4) customs search; 5) waiver of the accused of his
rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. From Espiritu’s experience as a member of the
Anti-Narcotics Unit of Caloocan City Police, Manalili’s suspicious behavior was characteristic of
drug addicts who were high.

II. SG’s contention that Manalili effectively waived the inadmissibility of the evidence illegally
obtained when he failed to raise this issue or object during trial. A valid waiver of right against
unreasonable searches and seizures require the concurrence of these requisites: 1) the right to be
waived existed; 2) the person waiving it had knowledge; and 3) he/she had actual intention to
relinquish the right. In this case however, it is deemed that Manalili has waived such right for
failure to raise its violation before the trial court, at the earliest opportunity possible. Issues not
raised below cannot be pleaded for the first time on appeal.

III. Manalili’s contention that the charge was trumped up to extort money and testimonies of the
arresting officers were inconsistent, it held that the trial court’s assessment of the credibility of
the witnesses particularly when affirmed by CA is accorded great weight and respect as it had
opportunity to observe their demeanor and deportment as they testified before it.
The elements of illegal possession of mj are: a) the accused is in possession of an item or object
which is identified to be a prohibited drug; b) such possession is not authorized by law; and c)
the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug. The substance found on Manalili’s
wallet was identified as mj which was prohibited and knowingly without authority. Considering
that he was high and tried to avoid and resist, such behavior clearly shows that he knew he was
holding mj and it was prohibited by law.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. BALTAZAR


BONGALON y MATEOS, accused-appellant.

DECISION
PER CURIAM:

This case involves the unlawful sale of 250.70 grams of Methamphetamine


Hydrochloride (shabu), a regulated drug, in violation of Section 15, Article III of Republic
Act No. 6425, as amended, otherwise known as The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.
The crime was allegedly committed as follows: [1]

That on or about the 8 day of December 1994, in the Municipality of Paraaque, Metro
th

Manila, Philippines, a place within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused (Baltazar Bongalon), not being lawfully authorized by law, and
by means of motor vehicle, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
sell, deliver and give away to another, one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic
bag/sachet containing brown crystalline substance weighing 250.70 grams, which
was found positive to the test for Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu), a
regulated drug, in violation of the above-cited law.

CONTRARY TO LAW. (emphases ours)

When arraigned, the accused pled not guilty. Trial ensued.


[2]

The prosecution presented the following witnesses, to wit: (1) PO3 Noel Castaeto,
the poseur-buyer; (2) PO3 Rogelio Galos, member of the buy-bust operation team; and
(3) Police Senior Inspector Julita de Villa, the forensic chemist. The presentation of PO2
Felipe Metrillo, member of the buy-bust team, was dispensed with after the prosecution
and the defense had stipulated at the trial that he would merely corroborate the
testimony of PO3 Galos.
The prosecution evidence reveals that in the morning of December 7, 1994, a
confidential informant reported to the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Narcotics
Command (NARCOM) in Camp Ricardo Papa, Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila, that a
certain Baldo (the accused) was engaged in selling shabu, a regulated drug. Police
Senior Inspector Franklin Moises Mabanag immediately formed a buy-bust operation
team with PO3 Noel Castaeto as the poseur-buyer and PO3 Rogelio Galos and PO2
Felipe Metrillo as members.[3]

That same day, the confidential informant contacted the accused through a mobile
phone and introduced PO3 Castaeto to him as a friend who wanted to buy shabu. The
accused and PO3 Castaeto negotiated the terms of the transaction over the mobile
phone. PO3 Castaeto told the accused that he needed 250 grams of shabu. The
accused pegged the cost at P1,000/gram of shabu, for a total sum of P250,000.00. The
accused then instructed PO3 Castaeto to call the following morning to confirm the sale.
[4]

P/Sr. Insp. Mabanag briefed the buy-bust operation team members on their
respective roles in the sting and gave to PO3 Castaeto two (2) P500.00 bills bearing
serial numbers BT423424 and BQ352570 and five (5) bundles of boodle money to be
used as buy-bust money. P03 Castaeto affixed his signature at the bottom right corner
of each bill for identification purposes. They placed one genuine P500.00 bill on top,
[5]

and another one at the bottom, of the boodle money. The bundles were first secured
with money straps with markings P50,000.00, United Coconut Planters Bank and
wrapped in a transparent plastic then placed inside a brown envelope. [6]

At 9:00 a.m., December 8, 1994, PO3 Castaeto talked again to the accused through
the mobile phone to confirm if their transaction would push through. The appellant told
him that they would meet at 3:30 p.m. that same day, near the Burger Machine stall
along Doa Soledad in Better Living, Paraaque. [7]

PO3 Castaetos team and the confidential informant arrived at the designated place
at 3:00 p.m. using a private vehicle. He and the confidential informant parked their car
near the Burger Machine stall and waited for the accused to arrive. P03 Galos and P02
Metrillo, on the other hand, parked just a few meters behind the car used by PO3
Castaeto.[8]

At 3:30 p.m., the red Nissan Sentra sedan driven by the accused, with plate No.
TPL 488, parked in front of the car of PO3 Castaeto. The accused was alone. The
confidential informant and PO3 Castaeto approached the Nissan Sentra and talked to
the accused. After a brief conversation, the accused asked for the money. PO3
Castaeto showed him the buy-bust money. Satisfied, the accused immediately handed
[9]

over to PO3 Castaeto a package wrapped in a newspaper. After PO3 Castaeto had
checked out that the package contained the suspected regulated substance, he gave
the pre-arranged signal to his team by waiving his hand. The back-up team members
immediately announced that they were NARCOM agents and arrested the accused. [10]

They informed the accused of his constitutional rights and brought him to Camp Papa
for investigation.
[11]
On December 9, 1995, the confiscated substance was brought to the Philippine
National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory for examination. P/Sr. Insp. Julita de Villa,
[12]

forensic chemist of the PNP Crime Laboratory Services, conducted a physical, chemical
and chromatographic examination on the substance to determine the presence of
Methamphetamine Hydrochloride.The result is as follows: [13]

SPECIMEN SUBMITTED:

Exh. A- One (1) light blue China Station bag containing one (1) heat-sealed
transparent plastic bag marked as Exh. A-1 with 250.70 grams of brown crystalline
substance. xxx

PURPOSE OF LABORATORY EXAMINATION:

To determine the presence of prohibited and/or regulated drug.

FINDINGS:

Qualitative examinations conducted on the above-stated specimen gave POSITIVE


result to the tests for Methamphetamine hydrochloride (Shabu).

P/Sr. Insp. De Villa testified that the package containing the shabu was completely
sealed when she received it and she was the one who opened it to examine its
contents.[14]

For its part, the defense presented the accused himself, Baltazar Bongalon. He tried
to refute the claim of the prosecution witnesses that he was alone when the NARCOM
agents arrested him for the alleged unlawful sale of shabu. Allegedly, the buy-bust
operation was bogus and the NARCOM agents framed him for extortion.
The accused testified that in the morning of December 8, 1994, he was cleaning his
house in United Paraaque. Just before noon that same day, his brother, Melchor
Bongalon, arrived and told him that their friend, Boyet, rang him and asked to tell the
accused to return the Sega tapes he borrowed. Boyet, whose real name is Juancho
Tangsengco, lives in Syria Street, Better Living Subdivision, Paraaque. Melchor
Bongalon, on the other hand, lives in Tondo, Manila.[15]

As the accused had previously planned to take his then 4-year old son, Mark
Anthony, to Star City, he decided to go to Better Living at 2:00 p.m. to return the Sega
tapes first. Melchor allegedly accompanied the accused and his son to Boyets house.
They used the red Nissan Sentra sedan owned by their sister. The accused was at the
[16]

drivers seat, Melchor was at the passenger side in front and Mark Anthony was at the
back. He passed via Doa Soledad and Russia Streets. While cruising along Russia
Street, he slowed down a bit because he had to turn right to United Nations Street.
Suddenly, about eight (8) men in civilian clothes bearing armalite automatic rifles and .
45 caliber firearms intercepted him. (He learned later that the armed men were
[17]

NARCOM agents led by PO3 Castaeto). The firearms were pointed at the car he was
driving. He rolled down the cars window and asked what his violation was and if they
had a warrant of arrest against him. They ignored him and instead, ordered them to get
out of the car. He persisted in verifying what his violation was but did not get any reply
from them. Thereafter, they were ordered to board the car again. Two (2) men boarded
his carPO3 Galos sat at his left side, taking the drivers seat, while the other sat at his
right sideand sandwiched him. PO3 Castaeto and PO2 Metrillo also boarded the car
and sat at the back seats, beside Melchor and Mark Anthony. The rest of the arresting
team headed towards their vehicle. [18]

The accused and his alleged companions were taken to Camp Papa for
investigation. When told that he was carrying shabu in his car, he asked if he could see
the substance. Allegedly, the NARCOM agents refused. After the investigation, P/Sr.
Insp. Mabanag asked him if they could go to their house to check if he stashed any
shabu in his house. He agreed. They reached his house in United Paraaque by 7:00
[19]

p.m. that same night. About seven (7) policemen entered his house. PO3 Galos was left
in the car to guard him and his son. His brother, Melchor, was left in the custody of
NARCOM in Camp Papa. [20]

Fifteen (15) minutes later, the police let the accused and his son enter their house
as the NARCOM agents continued searching his house. His wife and his son were
seated beside him in the living room. His wife asked for a search warrant which elicited
a cold reply from the NARCOM agents that it was not necessary (hindi na uso yon). The
search lasted for two (2) hours and yielded negative results. The NARCOM agents tried
to take the wife of the accused to Camp Papa, but she became hysterical. They left her
behind and instead brought the accused and his son back to the camp. [21]

At Camp Papa, the accuseds son was handed over to Melchor as the accused was
brought to another room. It was already late in the evening when his mother arrived at
the camp. His son and his brother were allowed to leave with his mother. [22]

The accused claimed that the NARCOM agents were trying to extort money from
them but he told his mother not to report the matter to the National Bureau of
Investigation because he feared for his life. He also alleged that several agents had
threatened him that P/Sr. Insp. Mabanag would kill if the latter could not get what he
wanted. He accused them of manhandling him. He allegedly sustained abrasions and
contusions, but the NARCOM agents denied his request for a medical treatment. [23]
On December 13, 1995, he was brought to Camp Crame in Quezon City. Again, he
requested for medical treatment. His request was also denied because, according to the
police, he already had a medical certificate, referring to the one that was taken before
he was mauled. [24]

The accused denied that he talked to the confidential informant and to PO3
Castaeto at 5:00 p.m. on December 7, 1994. He claimed they could not have talked to
him because he did not own a mobile phone and he did not have a telephone in his
house. Allegedly, at that time, he was driving the red Nissan Sentra along MIA Road
which he borrowed from his sister. He also denied that he gave the shabu to or received
any money from PO3 Castaeto because he did not know the latter or any of the
NARCOM agents prior to his arrest. He insisted that he was intercepted at the corner of
Russia and United Nations Streets, and not along Doa Soledad. He could not, however,
think of any reason why they did so. Allegedly, except for Boyet, no one knew that he
was going to Boyets house in Syria Street. He claimed he would lodge a complaint
against the arresting officers for his unlawful arrest and the illegal search of his house
once his case is finished.
Thereafter, with the courts approval, the defense and the prosecution stipulated
that, if called on the stand, the following witnesses, to wit: (1) Melchor Bongalon, brother
of the accused; (2) Nonoy Ducca, a construction worker who allegedly witnessed the
arrest of the accused; (3) Hilda Capuslanan, housemaid of the Bongalons; and (4)
Marcela Bongalon, wife of the accused, would testify as follows:
Melchor Bongalon would testify that, on December 8, 1994, he went to the house of
the accused and told the latter to return the Sega tapes that the accused borrowed from
their friend, Boyet; that he and the son of the accused accompanied the latter in going
to Boyets house in Better Living, Paraaque; that NARCOM agents intercepted their
vehicle at the corner of Ethi(o)pia Street and Doa Soledad Avenue; that there were no
prohibited drugs taken from the accused; that they were brought to the NARCOM office
in Bicutan and that in the evening of December 8, 1994, the NARCOM agents went to
the house of the accused. [25]

Nonoy Ducca would testify that at about 3:00 p.m., on December 8, 1994, he was
taking a snack along Russia Street in Better Living, Paraaque; that he was a worker at a
nearby construction site; that he noticed armed men pointing their firearms at a vehicle
and they forced its occupants to alight; that the occupants of the vehicle were asked
again to board the same and one (1) of the armed men took the wheel and sped away;
that he was twenty (20) meters away from the incident and that he recognized the driver
of the vehicle who was intercepted by the armed men. [26]

Hilda Capuslanan would testify that on the night the accused was arrested, the
NARCOM agents went to the house of the accused and ransacked the same; that they
returned to the house of the accused on December 10, 1994 and did the same thing
and that a case was then filed against the NARCOM agents before the PLEB. [27]

Marcela Bongalon, the wife of the accused, would testify that on December 8, 1994,
at about 7:00 p.m., she was in their house when her husband, the accused, and the
NARCOM agents arrived; that the NARCOM agents ransacked their house and took
their personal belongings; that said officers returned on December 10, 1994 and did the
same thing but she was not around at that time; that on December 8, 1994, Melchor
Bongalon came to inform the accused to return the Sega tapes and that her son, the
accused and Melchor Bongalon left their house after lunch. [28]

Finally, the defense presented as documentary exhibits the sketches of the scene of
the incident prepared by PO3 Castaeto, PO3 Galos and the accused, marked as
Exhibits 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Thereafter, the defense rested its case.
After the trial, the trial court found the accused guilty as charged. He was sentenced
to suffer the death penalty and ordered to pay a fine of P1,000,000.00. The dispositive
portion of its decision reads:
[29]

WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered finding the


accused BALTAZAR BONGALON y MATEOS guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
the offense of Violation of Section 15,Article III, of R.A. 6425, as amended by R.A.
7659, Section 15 in relation to number 3 Section 20 thereof, he is hereby sentenced to
suffer the supreme penalty of DEATH and to pay a fine of ONE MILLION
(P1,000,000.00) PESOS and to pay the costs.

The Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (Shabu) confiscated from the accused is


ordered forfeited in favor of the Government and the Clerk of Court is directed
without delay to turn over said item to the Dangerous Drug Board.

SO ORDERED.

The accused filed a Notice of Appeal. Thereafter, he filed a Motion for


[30]

Reconsideration/New Trial to present additional witnesses that included his 4-year old
son, Mark Anthony. The motion was denied by the trial court on the ground that the
[31]

additional witnesses he offered to present were available during the trial proper of the
case. Subsequently, the accused filed several motions, including a motion to inhibit,
[32] [33] [34]

but they were all denied. The trial court ordered the transmittal of the records of the
case to this Court for automatic review.
[35]

In the meantime, the accused filed a MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL with this Court. [36]

Pursuant to our directive, the Office of the Solicitor General filed its Comment. After
[37]
considering their pleadings, we denied the motion for new trial for lack of merit. The
[38]

accuseds motion for reconsideration was also denied. Finally, the appellant and the
[39]

Solicitor General filed their respective briefs.


[40]

The appellant contends that:

I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED AND COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF


DISCRETION IN RULING THAT THERE WAS A BUY-BUST OPERATION
CONDUCTED BY THE NARCOM AGENTS AGAINST BONGALON AND THAT
IT WAS A VALID ONE.

A. THE TESTIMONIES OF PROSECUTION WITNESSES NOEL CASTAETO


AND ROGELIO GALOS ON THE BUY-BUST OPERATION AGAINST
BONGALON ARE NOT CREDIBLE.

B. THE EVENTS AS BORNE OUT BY THE RECORDS OF THE CASE BELIE


THE EXISTENCE OF A VALID BUY-BUST OPERATION.

C. THERE WAS NO SHABU CONFISCATED FROM BONGALON AT THE TIME


OF HIS UNLAWFUL WARRANTLESS ARREST.

D. THE WARRANTLESS ARREST OF BONGALON IS (sic) UNLAWFUL AND


THE TWO SEARCHES MADE ON HIS HOUSE ARE (sic) ALSO UNLAWFUL.

E. THERE WAS NO BUY-BUST OPERATION BUT ONLY A PLAN TO EXTORT


MONEY FROM BONGALON AND HIS FAMILY AND ROB THEM OF THEIR
VALUABLES.

F. THE PRESENCE OF MELCHOR BONGALON AND MARK ANTHONY


BONGALON AT THE TIME OF THE WARRANTLESS ARREST OF BONGALON
BELIE THE CLAIM OF THE NARCOM AGENTS THAT BONGALON WAS
DEALING SHABU AT THE TIME OF SUCH ARREST.

G. THE TESTIMONY OF BONGALON IS CREDIBLE BECAUSE IT WAS GIVEN


IN A STRAIGHTFORWARD MANNER.

II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING BONGALON OF THE


VIOLATION OF SECTION 15, ARTICLE III, R.A. 6425, AS AMENDED BY R.A.
7659.
A. THE SHABU ALLEGEDLY CONFISCATED FROM BONGALON AT THE
TIME OF HIS UNLAWFUL WARRANTLESS ARREST IS INADMISSIBLE AS
EVIDENCE.

B. THE ACTS OF THE NARCOM AGENTS CONSTITUTE INSTIGATION


RATHER THAN AN ENTRAPMENT.

C. THE PROSECUTION HAS FAILED TO PROVE THE GUILT OF THE


ACCUSED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.

III. THE HONORABLE PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE TRIAL COURT SHOULD


HAVE INHIBITED HIMSELF FROM FURTHER HANDLING THE CASE IN
ORDER THAT BONGALONS MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION/NEW TRIAL
SHOULD HAVE BEEN RESOLVED BY A NEUTRAL AND IMPARTIAL JUDGE.

IV. THE TRIAL COURT SHOULD HAVE APPROVED THE CONDUCT OF A


NEW TRIAL IN ORDER THAT THE FACTS EVIDENCING THE EXTORTION
AND ROBBERY PLAN OF MABANAG AND HIS MEN COULD HAVE BEEN
TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING THE GUILT OF
BONGALON.

V. THE PENALTY OF DEATH AND FINE OF P1 MILLION IMPOSED BY THE


HONORABLE COURT ON BONGALON ARE NOT THE PROPER PENALTIES
TO BE IMPOSED.

We affirm the judgment of the trial court, with modification as to the fine imposed.
The appeal hangs mainly on the alleged lack of credibility of the prosecution
witnesses and the frame-up-for-extortion theory.
It is a settled rule that in cases involving violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act,
credence is given to prosecution witnesses who are police officers for they are
presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner, unless there is evidence
to the contrary.
[41]

To discredit the NARCOM agents involved in the buy-bust operation, the appellant
points to certain facts that would allegedly prove that the operation was bogus, to wit:
(1) There was no prior transaction between him and the poseur-buyer for him to
immediately trust and do business with the latter, particularly when it involved a huge
quantity of shabu.
(2) The meeting place chosen, Doa Soledad Street, was very risky for a drug-dealer
because it is a very busy street where people could easily observe and report to the
police the exchange of shabu for money and the counting of money.
(3) The NARCOM agents did not take certain measures in the conduct of the buy-
bust operation, namely: (a) the buy-bust operation was not entered in NARCOMs blotter
to prove that such plan exists; (b) there was no documentary proof that the informant
and the poseur-buyer transacted with him through his mobile phone; (c) and despite the
fact that the NARCOM agents had ample time to prepare for the operation, the buy-bust
money was not treated with ultra-violet powder, thus, there was no fool-proof evidence
of his receipt of the money.
(4) The NARCOM agents who conducted the buy-bust operation committed material
inconsistencies in their testimonies, particularly on the following: (a) the respective
positions of their cars during the operation and how many vehicles were actually used;
and (b) the buy-bust money used.
(5) It was inconsistent with human behavior for him (the appellant) not to count the
money at the time of the exchange since he had no prior transaction with the poseur-
buyer and, conversely, for the poseur-buyer to just touch the package and conclude that
it was shabu.
(6) In his Affidavit, PO3 Castaeto stated that the operation in Doa Soledad was
planned on December 7, 1994, however, in his testimony in court, he claimed that the
meeting place and time was only set on December 8, 1994.
(7) He was not alone during the arrest, thus negating the NARCOM agents claim
that he was dealing drugs at that time.
The factual issues raised by the appellant would not exculpate him.
At the outset, bare denials cannot prevail over the positive identification by the
prosecution witnesses of the appellant as the person who was in possession of, and
who delivered the methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) to the poseur-buyer. The [42]

prosecution witnesses, namely, PO3 Castaeto and PO3 Galos, testified that the
Narcotics Command in Camp Ricardo Papa in Taguig received a report from an
informant that the appellant was engaged in the illegal sale of shabu. Acting on the said
tip, PO3 Castaeto was designated by P/Sr. Insp. Mabanag to lead the buy-bust
operation team against the appellant. With the informants help, PO3 Castaeto
negotiated with the appellant the possible purchase of 250 grams of shabu for
P250,000.00. The next day, PO3 Castaeto called the appellant to confirm if their
transaction would push through and the latter agreed to deliver the subject 250 grams of
shabu. The appellant set their meeting place and time. As PO3 Castaeto did not know
the appellant before the buy-bust operation, the informant accompanied him to the
meeting place. The informant identified the red Nissan Sentra sedan driven by the
appellant. It parked right in front of their car. The informant and PO3 Castaeto
approached the appellant, had a brief conversation with the latter and, upon his request,
showed him the money. The appellant gave the package containing the shabu to PO3
Castaeto upon receiving the boodle money. The sale of the shabu was consummated.
PO3 Castaeto then gave the pre-arranged signal by waiving his left hand to the other
members of the buy-bust team who immediately apprehended the appellant. Clearly,
the appellant was arrested by virtue of a valid buy-bust operation.
A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment that is resorted to for trapping and
capturing felons in the execution of their criminal plan. The operation is sanctioned by
law and has consistently proved to be an effective method of apprehending drug
peddlers. Unless there is a clear and convincing evidence that the members of the buy-
bust team were inspired by any improper motive or were not properly performing their
duty, their testimonies on the operation deserve full faith and credit.
[43]

We reject the frame-up theory of the appellant. It is incredible. The appellant did not
offer any satisfactory explanation on why the NARCOM agents would single him out
from among the many vehicles that passed via Doa Soledad and Russia Streets on that
particular day just to frame him up and extort money from him. The records show that
there was no prior surveillance conducted against the appellant. No evidence was
presented if the NARCOM agents knew before his arrest that he could give a huge sum
of money for the agents alleged extortion activity.What was established was that PO3
Castaeto became aware of the appellants illegal trade only a day before the buy-bust
operation. In fact, the informant had to introduce first PO3 Castaeto to the appellant
before the said poseur-buyer managed to negotiate the shabu deal with him. Even the
appellant admitted that he did not know the NARCOM agents prior to his arrest. There
was, therefore, no motive for them to frame him up. Without proof of motive to falsely
impute such a serious crime against an accused, the presumption of regularity in the
performance of official duty and the findings of the trial court on the credibility of
witnesses shall prevail over the appellants claim of having been framed. [44]

Even the claim that the appellant went to Better Living Subdivision in Paraaque to
return the Sega tapes to his friend, Boyet, is unbelievable. In these times of electronic
gizmos, the appellant would like us to believe that his brother, Melchor, came all the way
from his house in Tondo just to tell him that Boyet, whose house was just a few minutes
away from the appellants, would like to have his Sega tapes back. Although the
appellant denied that he owned a mobile phone or a phone landline in his house, he
admitted he has a pager. Inexplicably, Boyet opted to contact Melchor to relay the
message to the appellant instead of just relaying it straight to the latter. The same holds
true for Melchor, assuming that he did go to the appellants house.
We note, too, that despite the claim that Melchor was also in the car during the buy-
bust operation, Melchor was inexplicably not charged in court along with his brother, the
appellant.More perplexing is the allegation that the NARCOM agents would also take
the appellants 4-year old son in Camp Papa while the latter was under investigation
and, after they had searched his house, the NARCOM agents again took the child to
Camp Papa and not leave the child with his mother. To be sure, the appellants scenario
was so contrived that it goes against standard human behavior and experience.
As shown in the records, the prosecution has established with moral certainty all the
elements necessary in every prosecution for the illegal sale of shabu, namely, (1) the
identity of the buyer and the seller, the object and the consideration, and (2) the delivery
of the thing sold and the payment therefor. The use of dusted money is not
indispensable to prove the illegal sale of shabu. In fact, the absence of marked money
does not create a hiatus in the evidence for the prosecution provided that the
prosecution has adequately proved the sale. Moreover, the fact that the appellant did
[45]

not count the money first when he gave the shabu to PO3 Castaeto does not
necessarily mean that the buy-bust operation was a sham. The NARCOM agent
explained that after showing the boodle money with the genuine P500 bills to the
appellant, the latter was satisfied that he readily gave the package of shabu to the
former. The trial court correctly believed the NARCOM agent. We are convinced that
what actually took place during the operation was, in street parlance, a kaliwaan. There
was nothing unusual about how the said transaction was consummated. It was done
hurriedlythe giving of the shabu upon receipt of the moneyprecisely because the place
of the exchange was a busy street and it would arouse the suspicion of bystanders and
passersby if the appellant would be seen counting a huge sum of money.
For his exculpation, the appellant also points out that it was only in the morning of
December 8, 1994 when PO3 Castaeto got the information on the price of the shabu
and the place and time of the delivery. Thus, it was allegedly incredible that P/Sr. Insp.
Mabanag could already organize the buy-bust team on December 7, 1994 and give
details about the operation to be held in Doa Soledad on December 8, 1994. The
appellant also focuses on certain inconsistencies in the sketches drawn by PO3
[46]

Castaeto and PO3 Galos as to where they parked their respective cars and how many
were used during the operation.
The appellant fails to persuade us. The records show that the December 8
conversation between the appellant and PO3 Castaeto was just a confirmation of their
agreement regarding the sale of the shabu. Prior to that, the confidential informant had
been talking to PO3 Castaetos superior officer, P/Sr. Insp. Mabanag, regarding the
illegal trade of the appellant and, on account of such report and the initial negotiations
between the appellant and PO3 Castaeto, the buy-bust team was formed and briefed
accordingly.[47]
As for the locations of the vehicles used by the NARCOM agents when it parked
along Doa Soledad Street, such is a trivial matter that would not affect the their
credibility. Such a minor inconsistency strengthens, rather than weakens, the credibility
of the witnesses as it erases any suspicion of a rehearsed testimony. We deemed it
[48]

more important that the prosecution witnesses testimonies tallied on material points.
The appellant also cannot assail the validity of his arrest on account of the absence
of a warrant. He was caught in flagrante delicto selling shabu. There was, therefore,
[49] [50]

no need for a warrant to effect his arrest pursuant to Section 5 (a), Rule 113 of the
Revised Rules on Criminal procedure. Said section provides:
[51]

Sec. 5. Arrest, without warrant; when lawfulA 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;

xxx xxx xxx.


Moreover, the rule is that an accused is estopped from assailing the legality of his
arrest if he failed to move to quash the information against him before his arraignment.
Any objection involving the arrest or the procedure in the acquisition by the court of
jurisdiction over the person of an accused must be made before he enters his plea,
otherwise, the objection is deemed waived. Even in the instances not allowed by law, a
[52]

warrantless arrest is not a jurisdictional defect, and objection thereto is waived where
the person arrested submits to arraignment without objection. The subsequent filing of
the charges and the issuance of the corresponding warrant of arrest against a person
illegally detained will cure the defect of that detention. [53]

Next, the appellant claims that the search conducted in his house was unlawful. He
also laments that the NARCOM agents robbed him of his personal properties during the
search and they received money from his relatives after his arrest. This Court need not
tarry on the validity of the said search for the appellant consented to the search. He
admitted that he voluntarily accompanied the policemen to his house. As for the [54]

charges of robbery and extortion, as in the alleged unlawful search made in his house,
those incidents transpired after his arrest.Whether true or not, his liability for the
unlawful sale of shabu remains.
As we have earlier stated, the appellants denial cannot prevail over the positive
testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. We are not unaware of the perception that, in
some instances, law enforcers resort to the practice of planting evidence to extract
information or even to harass civilians. However, like alibi, frame-up is a defense that
has been viewed by the Court with disfavor as it can easily be concocted, hence,
commonly used as a standard line of defense in most prosecutions arising from
violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act. We realize the disastrous consequences on the
enforcement of law and order, not to mention the well-being of society, if the courts,
solely on the basis of the policemens alleged rotten reputation, accept in every instance
this form of defense which can be so easily fabricated. It is precisely for this reason that
the legal presumption that official duty has been regularly performed exists. [55]

The third and fourth issues need not be discussed at length as the same were
already passed upon by this Court when it denied the appellants Motion for New Trial
for lack of merit. We reiterate that the trial court did not err in denying the motion for
[56]

new trial. Section 14, Rule 124 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure provides:

Sec. 14. Motion for new trial.At any time after the appeal from the lower court has
been perfected and before the judgment of the appellate court convicting the accused
becomes final, the latter may move for a new trial on the ground of newly discovered
evidence material to his defense, the motion to conform to the provisions of Section 4,
Rule 121.

A motion for new trial must be based on newly discovered evidence, that is, the
[57]

following must concur: (a) the evidence is discovered after trial; (b) such evidence could
not have been discovered and produced at the trial even with the exercise of
reasonable diligence; and (c) the evidence is material, not merely cumulative,
corroborative, or impeaching and of such weight that, if admitted, could probably
change the judgment. As aptly stated by the trial court, the testimony of the witness
sought to be presented would serve only as impeaching and corroborative evidence. A
new trial is justifiably denied where only impeaching evidence is sought to be introduced
as the court had already passed upon the issue of credibility at the trial and where only
corroborative evidence is to be offered as it would not change the result of the case. [58]

The fifth issue refers to the correctness of the death penalty imposed against the
appellant. To avoid any injustice, we re-read the voluminous records of the case. We
find that the records support the findings of the trial court.
Section 15 of Republic Act No. 7659 provides:

Sec. 15. Sale, Administration, Dispensation, Delivery, Transportation and Distribution


of Regulated Drugs.The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from
five hundred thousand pesos to ten million pesos shall be imposed upon any person
who, unless authorized by law, shall sell, dispense, deliver, transport or distribute any
regulated drug.
xxx xxx xxx.
Section 20, Article IV of R.A. No. 6425 was amended by Section 17 of R.A. No.
7659. It now provides as follows:

Sec. 20. Application of Penalties, Confiscation and Forfeiture of Proceeds or


Instrument of the Crime.The penalties for offenses under xxx Sections 14, 14-A, 15
and 16 of Article III of this Act shall be applied if the dangerous drugs involved is in
any of the following quantities:

xxx xxx xxx

3. 200 grams or more of shabu or methylamphetamine hydrochloride;

xxx xxx xxx

Otherwise, if the quantity involved is less than the foregoing quantities, the penalty
shall range from prision correccional to reclusion perpetua depending upon the
quantity.

It was established that the appellant sold 250.70 grams of shabu. The crime,
according to the Information, was committed with the aggravating circumstance of use
of motor vehicle. It has been established that the appellant used a car in going to their
[59]

meeting place and to transport the subject substance thus facilitating the commission of
the crime. There was no mitigating circumstance. Applying Section 15 in relation to
[60]

Section 20 of R.A. No. 7659 and Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty of
death and a fine ranging from P500,000.00 to P10,000,000.00 should be imposed upon
the appellant. Considering the quantity of the shabu involved in the case at bar, the fine
of P1,000,000.00 is reduced to P500,000.00. [61]

Four (4) members of the Court maintain their position that R.A. No. 7659, insofar as
it prescribes the death penalty, is unconstitutional. Nevertheless, they submit to the
ruling of the Court, by a majority vote, that the law is constitutional and that the death
penalty should be imposed accordingly.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Paraaque (Branch
258) in Criminal Case No. 95-0973, sentencing appellant Baltazar Bongalon y Mateos
to death for violating Section 15, Article III of R.A. No. 6425, as amended, is
AFFIRMED, with modification that the fine imposed shall be reduced to P500,000.00.
Costs against the appellant.
Pursuant to Section 25 of R.A. No. 7659, amending Section 83 of the Revised
Penal Code, upon finality of this Decision, let the records of this case be forthwith
forwarded to the Office of the President for possible exercise of pardoning power.
SO ORDERED.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. BALTAZAR


BONGALON y MATEOS, accused-appellant.

DECISION
PER CURIAM:

This case involves the unlawful sale of 250.70 grams of Methamphetamine


Hydrochloride (shabu), a regulated drug, in violation of Section 15, Article III of Republic
Act No. 6425, as amended, otherwise known as The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.
The crime was allegedly committed as follows: [1]

That on or about the 8 day of December 1994, in the Municipality of Paraaque, Metro
th

Manila, Philippines, a place within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused (Baltazar Bongalon), not being lawfully authorized by law, and
by means of motor vehicle, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
sell, deliver and give away to another, one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic
bag/sachet containing brown crystalline substance weighing 250.70 grams, which
was found positive to the test for Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu), a
regulated drug, in violation of the above-cited law.

CONTRARY TO LAW. (emphases ours)

When arraigned, the accused pled not guilty. Trial ensued.


[2]

The prosecution presented the following witnesses, to wit: (1) PO3 Noel Castaeto,
the poseur-buyer; (2) PO3 Rogelio Galos, member of the buy-bust operation team; and
(3) Police Senior Inspector Julita de Villa, the forensic chemist. The presentation of PO2
Felipe Metrillo, member of the buy-bust team, was dispensed with after the prosecution
and the defense had stipulated at the trial that he would merely corroborate the
testimony of PO3 Galos.
The prosecution evidence reveals that in the morning of December 7, 1994, a
confidential informant reported to the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Narcotics
Command (NARCOM) in Camp Ricardo Papa, Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila, that a
certain Baldo (the accused) was engaged in selling shabu, a regulated drug. Police
Senior Inspector Franklin Moises Mabanag immediately formed a buy-bust operation
team with PO3 Noel Castaeto as the poseur-buyer and PO3 Rogelio Galos and PO2
Felipe Metrillo as members.[3]

That same day, the confidential informant contacted the accused through a mobile
phone and introduced PO3 Castaeto to him as a friend who wanted to buy shabu. The
accused and PO3 Castaeto negotiated the terms of the transaction over the mobile
phone. PO3 Castaeto told the accused that he needed 250 grams of shabu. The
accused pegged the cost at P1,000/gram of shabu, for a total sum of P250,000.00. The
accused then instructed PO3 Castaeto to call the following morning to confirm the sale.
[4]

P/Sr. Insp. Mabanag briefed the buy-bust operation team members on their
respective roles in the sting and gave to PO3 Castaeto two (2) P500.00 bills bearing
serial numbers BT423424 and BQ352570 and five (5) bundles of boodle money to be
used as buy-bust money. P03 Castaeto affixed his signature at the bottom right corner
of each bill for identification purposes. They placed one genuine P500.00 bill on top,
[5]

and another one at the bottom, of the boodle money. The bundles were first secured
with money straps with markings P50,000.00, United Coconut Planters Bank and
wrapped in a transparent plastic then placed inside a brown envelope. [6]

At 9:00 a.m., December 8, 1994, PO3 Castaeto talked again to the accused through
the mobile phone to confirm if their transaction would push through. The appellant told
him that they would meet at 3:30 p.m. that same day, near the Burger Machine stall
along Doa Soledad in Better Living, Paraaque. [7]

PO3 Castaetos team and the confidential informant arrived at the designated place
at 3:00 p.m. using a private vehicle. He and the confidential informant parked their car
near the Burger Machine stall and waited for the accused to arrive. P03 Galos and P02
Metrillo, on the other hand, parked just a few meters behind the car used by PO3
Castaeto.[8]

At 3:30 p.m., the red Nissan Sentra sedan driven by the accused, with plate No.
TPL 488, parked in front of the car of PO3 Castaeto. The accused was alone. The
confidential informant and PO3 Castaeto approached the Nissan Sentra and talked to
the accused. After a brief conversation, the accused asked for the money. PO3
Castaeto showed him the buy-bust money. Satisfied, the accused immediately handed
[9]

over to PO3 Castaeto a package wrapped in a newspaper. After PO3 Castaeto had
checked out that the package contained the suspected regulated substance, he gave
the pre-arranged signal to his team by waiving his hand. The back-up team members
immediately announced that they were NARCOM agents and arrested the accused. [10]
They informed the accused of his constitutional rights and brought him to Camp Papa
for investigation.
[11]

On December 9, 1995, the confiscated substance was brought to the Philippine


National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory for examination. P/Sr. Insp. Julita de Villa,
[12]

forensic chemist of the PNP Crime Laboratory Services, conducted a physical, chemical
and chromatographic examination on the substance to determine the presence of
Methamphetamine Hydrochloride.The result is as follows: [13]

SPECIMEN SUBMITTED:

Exh. A- One (1) light blue China Station bag containing one (1) heat-sealed
transparent plastic bag marked as Exh. A-1 with 250.70 grams of brown crystalline
substance. xxx

PURPOSE OF LABORATORY EXAMINATION:

To determine the presence of prohibited and/or regulated drug.

FINDINGS:

Qualitative examinations conducted on the above-stated specimen gave POSITIVE


result to the tests for Methamphetamine hydrochloride (Shabu).

P/Sr. Insp. De Villa testified that the package containing the shabu was completely
sealed when she received it and she was the one who opened it to examine its
contents.[14]

For its part, the defense presented the accused himself, Baltazar Bongalon. He tried
to refute the claim of the prosecution witnesses that he was alone when the NARCOM
agents arrested him for the alleged unlawful sale of shabu. Allegedly, the buy-bust
operation was bogus and the NARCOM agents framed him for extortion.
The accused testified that in the morning of December 8, 1994, he was cleaning his
house in United Paraaque. Just before noon that same day, his brother, Melchor
Bongalon, arrived and told him that their friend, Boyet, rang him and asked to tell the
accused to return the Sega tapes he borrowed. Boyet, whose real name is Juancho
Tangsengco, lives in Syria Street, Better Living Subdivision, Paraaque. Melchor
Bongalon, on the other hand, lives in Tondo, Manila.[15]

As the accused had previously planned to take his then 4-year old son, Mark
Anthony, to Star City, he decided to go to Better Living at 2:00 p.m. to return the Sega
tapes first. Melchor allegedly accompanied the accused and his son to Boyets house.
They used the red Nissan Sentra sedan owned by their sister. The accused was at the
[16]

drivers seat, Melchor was at the passenger side in front and Mark Anthony was at the
back. He passed via Doa Soledad and Russia Streets. While cruising along Russia
Street, he slowed down a bit because he had to turn right to United Nations Street.
Suddenly, about eight (8) men in civilian clothes bearing armalite automatic rifles and .
45 caliber firearms intercepted him. (He learned later that the armed men were
[17]

NARCOM agents led by PO3 Castaeto). The firearms were pointed at the car he was
driving. He rolled down the cars window and asked what his violation was and if they
had a warrant of arrest against him. They ignored him and instead, ordered them to get
out of the car. He persisted in verifying what his violation was but did not get any reply
from them. Thereafter, they were ordered to board the car again. Two (2) men boarded
his carPO3 Galos sat at his left side, taking the drivers seat, while the other sat at his
right sideand sandwiched him. PO3 Castaeto and PO2 Metrillo also boarded the car
and sat at the back seats, beside Melchor and Mark Anthony. The rest of the arresting
team headed towards their vehicle. [18]

The accused and his alleged companions were taken to Camp Papa for
investigation. When told that he was carrying shabu in his car, he asked if he could see
the substance. Allegedly, the NARCOM agents refused. After the investigation, P/Sr.
Insp. Mabanag asked him if they could go to their house to check if he stashed any
shabu in his house. He agreed. They reached his house in United Paraaque by 7:00
[19]

p.m. that same night. About seven (7) policemen entered his house. PO3 Galos was left
in the car to guard him and his son. His brother, Melchor, was left in the custody of
NARCOM in Camp Papa. [20]

Fifteen (15) minutes later, the police let the accused and his son enter their house
as the NARCOM agents continued searching his house. His wife and his son were
seated beside him in the living room. His wife asked for a search warrant which elicited
a cold reply from the NARCOM agents that it was not necessary (hindi na uso yon). The
search lasted for two (2) hours and yielded negative results. The NARCOM agents tried
to take the wife of the accused to Camp Papa, but she became hysterical. They left her
behind and instead brought the accused and his son back to the camp. [21]

At Camp Papa, the accuseds son was handed over to Melchor as the accused was
brought to another room. It was already late in the evening when his mother arrived at
the camp. His son and his brother were allowed to leave with his mother. [22]

The accused claimed that the NARCOM agents were trying to extort money from
them but he told his mother not to report the matter to the National Bureau of
Investigation because he feared for his life. He also alleged that several agents had
threatened him that P/Sr. Insp. Mabanag would kill if the latter could not get what he
wanted. He accused them of manhandling him. He allegedly sustained abrasions and
contusions, but the NARCOM agents denied his request for a medical treatment. [23]

On December 13, 1995, he was brought to Camp Crame in Quezon City. Again, he
requested for medical treatment. His request was also denied because, according to the
police, he already had a medical certificate, referring to the one that was taken before
he was mauled. [24]

The accused denied that he talked to the confidential informant and to PO3
Castaeto at 5:00 p.m. on December 7, 1994. He claimed they could not have talked to
him because he did not own a mobile phone and he did not have a telephone in his
house. Allegedly, at that time, he was driving the red Nissan Sentra along MIA Road
which he borrowed from his sister. He also denied that he gave the shabu to or received
any money from PO3 Castaeto because he did not know the latter or any of the
NARCOM agents prior to his arrest. He insisted that he was intercepted at the corner of
Russia and United Nations Streets, and not along Doa Soledad. He could not, however,
think of any reason why they did so. Allegedly, except for Boyet, no one knew that he
was going to Boyets house in Syria Street. He claimed he would lodge a complaint
against the arresting officers for his unlawful arrest and the illegal search of his house
once his case is finished.
Thereafter, with the courts approval, the defense and the prosecution stipulated
that, if called on the stand, the following witnesses, to wit: (1) Melchor Bongalon, brother
of the accused; (2) Nonoy Ducca, a construction worker who allegedly witnessed the
arrest of the accused; (3) Hilda Capuslanan, housemaid of the Bongalons; and (4)
Marcela Bongalon, wife of the accused, would testify as follows:
Melchor Bongalon would testify that, on December 8, 1994, he went to the house of
the accused and told the latter to return the Sega tapes that the accused borrowed from
their friend, Boyet; that he and the son of the accused accompanied the latter in going
to Boyets house in Better Living, Paraaque; that NARCOM agents intercepted their
vehicle at the corner of Ethi(o)pia Street and Doa Soledad Avenue; that there were no
prohibited drugs taken from the accused; that they were brought to the NARCOM office
in Bicutan and that in the evening of December 8, 1994, the NARCOM agents went to
the house of the accused. [25]

Nonoy Ducca would testify that at about 3:00 p.m., on December 8, 1994, he was
taking a snack along Russia Street in Better Living, Paraaque; that he was a worker at a
nearby construction site; that he noticed armed men pointing their firearms at a vehicle
and they forced its occupants to alight; that the occupants of the vehicle were asked
again to board the same and one (1) of the armed men took the wheel and sped away;
that he was twenty (20) meters away from the incident and that he recognized the driver
of the vehicle who was intercepted by the armed men. [26]
Hilda Capuslanan would testify that on the night the accused was arrested, the
NARCOM agents went to the house of the accused and ransacked the same; that they
returned to the house of the accused on December 10, 1994 and did the same thing
and that a case was then filed against the NARCOM agents before the PLEB. [27]

Marcela Bongalon, the wife of the accused, would testify that on December 8, 1994,
at about 7:00 p.m., she was in their house when her husband, the accused, and the
NARCOM agents arrived; that the NARCOM agents ransacked their house and took
their personal belongings; that said officers returned on December 10, 1994 and did the
same thing but she was not around at that time; that on December 8, 1994, Melchor
Bongalon came to inform the accused to return the Sega tapes and that her son, the
accused and Melchor Bongalon left their house after lunch. [28]

Finally, the defense presented as documentary exhibits the sketches of the scene of
the incident prepared by PO3 Castaeto, PO3 Galos and the accused, marked as
Exhibits 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Thereafter, the defense rested its case.
After the trial, the trial court found the accused guilty as charged. He was sentenced
to suffer the death penalty and ordered to pay a fine of P1,000,000.00. The dispositive
portion of its decision reads:
[29]

WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered finding the


accused BALTAZAR BONGALON y MATEOS guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
the offense of Violation of Section 15,Article III, of R.A. 6425, as amended by R.A.
7659, Section 15 in relation to number 3 Section 20 thereof, he is hereby sentenced to
suffer the supreme penalty of DEATH and to pay a fine of ONE MILLION
(P1,000,000.00) PESOS and to pay the costs.

The Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (Shabu) confiscated from the accused is


ordered forfeited in favor of the Government and the Clerk of Court is directed
without delay to turn over said item to the Dangerous Drug Board.

SO ORDERED.

The accused filed a Notice of Appeal. Thereafter, he filed a Motion for


[30]

Reconsideration/New Trial to present additional witnesses that included his 4-year old
son, Mark Anthony. The motion was denied by the trial court on the ground that the
[31]

additional witnesses he offered to present were available during the trial proper of the
case. Subsequently, the accused filed several motions, including a motion to inhibit,
[32] [33] [34]

but they were all denied. The trial court ordered the transmittal of the records of the
case to this Court for automatic review.
[35]
In the meantime, the accused filed a MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL with this Court. [36]

Pursuant to our directive, the Office of the Solicitor General filed its Comment. After
[37]

considering their pleadings, we denied the motion for new trial for lack of merit. The
[38]

accuseds motion for reconsideration was also denied. Finally, the appellant and the
[39]

Solicitor General filed their respective briefs.


[40]

The appellant contends that:

I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED AND COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF


DISCRETION IN RULING THAT THERE WAS A BUY-BUST OPERATION
CONDUCTED BY THE NARCOM AGENTS AGAINST BONGALON AND THAT
IT WAS A VALID ONE.

A. THE TESTIMONIES OF PROSECUTION WITNESSES NOEL CASTAETO


AND ROGELIO GALOS ON THE BUY-BUST OPERATION AGAINST
BONGALON ARE NOT CREDIBLE.

B. THE EVENTS AS BORNE OUT BY THE RECORDS OF THE CASE BELIE


THE EXISTENCE OF A VALID BUY-BUST OPERATION.

C. THERE WAS NO SHABU CONFISCATED FROM BONGALON AT THE TIME


OF HIS UNLAWFUL WARRANTLESS ARREST.

D. THE WARRANTLESS ARREST OF BONGALON IS (sic) UNLAWFUL AND


THE TWO SEARCHES MADE ON HIS HOUSE ARE (sic) ALSO UNLAWFUL.

E. THERE WAS NO BUY-BUST OPERATION BUT ONLY A PLAN TO EXTORT


MONEY FROM BONGALON AND HIS FAMILY AND ROB THEM OF THEIR
VALUABLES.

F. THE PRESENCE OF MELCHOR BONGALON AND MARK ANTHONY


BONGALON AT THE TIME OF THE WARRANTLESS ARREST OF BONGALON
BELIE THE CLAIM OF THE NARCOM AGENTS THAT BONGALON WAS
DEALING SHABU AT THE TIME OF SUCH ARREST.

G. THE TESTIMONY OF BONGALON IS CREDIBLE BECAUSE IT WAS GIVEN


IN A STRAIGHTFORWARD MANNER.
II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING BONGALON OF THE
VIOLATION OF SECTION 15, ARTICLE III, R.A. 6425, AS AMENDED BY R.A.
7659.

A. THE SHABU ALLEGEDLY CONFISCATED FROM BONGALON AT THE


TIME OF HIS UNLAWFUL WARRANTLESS ARREST IS INADMISSIBLE AS
EVIDENCE.

B. THE ACTS OF THE NARCOM AGENTS CONSTITUTE INSTIGATION


RATHER THAN AN ENTRAPMENT.

C. THE PROSECUTION HAS FAILED TO PROVE THE GUILT OF THE


ACCUSED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.

III. THE HONORABLE PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE TRIAL COURT SHOULD


HAVE INHIBITED HIMSELF FROM FURTHER HANDLING THE CASE IN
ORDER THAT BONGALONS MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION/NEW TRIAL
SHOULD HAVE BEEN RESOLVED BY A NEUTRAL AND IMPARTIAL JUDGE.

IV. THE TRIAL COURT SHOULD HAVE APPROVED THE CONDUCT OF A


NEW TRIAL IN ORDER THAT THE FACTS EVIDENCING THE EXTORTION
AND ROBBERY PLAN OF MABANAG AND HIS MEN COULD HAVE BEEN
TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING THE GUILT OF
BONGALON.

V. THE PENALTY OF DEATH AND FINE OF P1 MILLION IMPOSED BY THE


HONORABLE COURT ON BONGALON ARE NOT THE PROPER PENALTIES
TO BE IMPOSED.

We affirm the judgment of the trial court, with modification as to the fine imposed.
The appeal hangs mainly on the alleged lack of credibility of the prosecution
witnesses and the frame-up-for-extortion theory.
It is a settled rule that in cases involving violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act,
credence is given to prosecution witnesses who are police officers for they are
presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner, unless there is evidence
to the contrary.
[41]
To discredit the NARCOM agents involved in the buy-bust operation, the appellant
points to certain facts that would allegedly prove that the operation was bogus, to wit:
(1) There was no prior transaction between him and the poseur-buyer for him to
immediately trust and do business with the latter, particularly when it involved a huge
quantity of shabu.
(2) The meeting place chosen, Doa Soledad Street, was very risky for a drug-dealer
because it is a very busy street where people could easily observe and report to the
police the exchange of shabu for money and the counting of money.
(3) The NARCOM agents did not take certain measures in the conduct of the buy-
bust operation, namely: (a) the buy-bust operation was not entered in NARCOMs blotter
to prove that such plan exists; (b) there was no documentary proof that the informant
and the poseur-buyer transacted with him through his mobile phone; (c) and despite the
fact that the NARCOM agents had ample time to prepare for the operation, the buy-bust
money was not treated with ultra-violet powder, thus, there was no fool-proof evidence
of his receipt of the money.
(4) The NARCOM agents who conducted the buy-bust operation committed material
inconsistencies in their testimonies, particularly on the following: (a) the respective
positions of their cars during the operation and how many vehicles were actually used;
and (b) the buy-bust money used.
(5) It was inconsistent with human behavior for him (the appellant) not to count the
money at the time of the exchange since he had no prior transaction with the poseur-
buyer and, conversely, for the poseur-buyer to just touch the package and conclude that
it was shabu.
(6) In his Affidavit, PO3 Castaeto stated that the operation in Doa Soledad was
planned on December 7, 1994, however, in his testimony in court, he claimed that the
meeting place and time was only set on December 8, 1994.
(7) He was not alone during the arrest, thus negating the NARCOM agents claim
that he was dealing drugs at that time.
The factual issues raised by the appellant would not exculpate him.
At the outset, bare denials cannot prevail over the positive identification by the
prosecution witnesses of the appellant as the person who was in possession of, and
who delivered the methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) to the poseur-buyer. The [42]

prosecution witnesses, namely, PO3 Castaeto and PO3 Galos, testified that the
Narcotics Command in Camp Ricardo Papa in Taguig received a report from an
informant that the appellant was engaged in the illegal sale of shabu. Acting on the said
tip, PO3 Castaeto was designated by P/Sr. Insp. Mabanag to lead the buy-bust
operation team against the appellant. With the informants help, PO3 Castaeto
negotiated with the appellant the possible purchase of 250 grams of shabu for
P250,000.00. The next day, PO3 Castaeto called the appellant to confirm if their
transaction would push through and the latter agreed to deliver the subject 250 grams of
shabu. The appellant set their meeting place and time. As PO3 Castaeto did not know
the appellant before the buy-bust operation, the informant accompanied him to the
meeting place. The informant identified the red Nissan Sentra sedan driven by the
appellant. It parked right in front of their car. The informant and PO3 Castaeto
approached the appellant, had a brief conversation with the latter and, upon his request,
showed him the money. The appellant gave the package containing the shabu to PO3
Castaeto upon receiving the boodle money. The sale of the shabu was consummated.
PO3 Castaeto then gave the pre-arranged signal by waiving his left hand to the other
members of the buy-bust team who immediately apprehended the appellant. Clearly,
the appellant was arrested by virtue of a valid buy-bust operation.
A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment that is resorted to for trapping and
capturing felons in the execution of their criminal plan. The operation is sanctioned by
law and has consistently proved to be an effective method of apprehending drug
peddlers. Unless there is a clear and convincing evidence that the members of the buy-
bust team were inspired by any improper motive or were not properly performing their
duty, their testimonies on the operation deserve full faith and credit.
[43]

We reject the frame-up theory of the appellant. It is incredible. The appellant did not
offer any satisfactory explanation on why the NARCOM agents would single him out
from among the many vehicles that passed via Doa Soledad and Russia Streets on that
particular day just to frame him up and extort money from him. The records show that
there was no prior surveillance conducted against the appellant. No evidence was
presented if the NARCOM agents knew before his arrest that he could give a huge sum
of money for the agents alleged extortion activity.What was established was that PO3
Castaeto became aware of the appellants illegal trade only a day before the buy-bust
operation. In fact, the informant had to introduce first PO3 Castaeto to the appellant
before the said poseur-buyer managed to negotiate the shabu deal with him. Even the
appellant admitted that he did not know the NARCOM agents prior to his arrest. There
was, therefore, no motive for them to frame him up. Without proof of motive to falsely
impute such a serious crime against an accused, the presumption of regularity in the
performance of official duty and the findings of the trial court on the credibility of
witnesses shall prevail over the appellants claim of having been framed. [44]

Even the claim that the appellant went to Better Living Subdivision in Paraaque to
return the Sega tapes to his friend, Boyet, is unbelievable. In these times of electronic
gizmos, the appellant would like us to believe that his brother, Melchor, came all the way
from his house in Tondo just to tell him that Boyet, whose house was just a few minutes
away from the appellants, would like to have his Sega tapes back. Although the
appellant denied that he owned a mobile phone or a phone landline in his house, he
admitted he has a pager. Inexplicably, Boyet opted to contact Melchor to relay the
message to the appellant instead of just relaying it straight to the latter. The same holds
true for Melchor, assuming that he did go to the appellants house.
We note, too, that despite the claim that Melchor was also in the car during the buy-
bust operation, Melchor was inexplicably not charged in court along with his brother, the
appellant.More perplexing is the allegation that the NARCOM agents would also take
the appellants 4-year old son in Camp Papa while the latter was under investigation
and, after they had searched his house, the NARCOM agents again took the child to
Camp Papa and not leave the child with his mother. To be sure, the appellants scenario
was so contrived that it goes against standard human behavior and experience.
As shown in the records, the prosecution has established with moral certainty all the
elements necessary in every prosecution for the illegal sale of shabu, namely, (1) the
identity of the buyer and the seller, the object and the consideration, and (2) the delivery
of the thing sold and the payment therefor. The use of dusted money is not
indispensable to prove the illegal sale of shabu. In fact, the absence of marked money
does not create a hiatus in the evidence for the prosecution provided that the
prosecution has adequately proved the sale. Moreover, the fact that the appellant did
[45]

not count the money first when he gave the shabu to PO3 Castaeto does not
necessarily mean that the buy-bust operation was a sham. The NARCOM agent
explained that after showing the boodle money with the genuine P500 bills to the
appellant, the latter was satisfied that he readily gave the package of shabu to the
former. The trial court correctly believed the NARCOM agent. We are convinced that
what actually took place during the operation was, in street parlance, a kaliwaan. There
was nothing unusual about how the said transaction was consummated. It was done
hurriedlythe giving of the shabu upon receipt of the moneyprecisely because the place
of the exchange was a busy street and it would arouse the suspicion of bystanders and
passersby if the appellant would be seen counting a huge sum of money.
For his exculpation, the appellant also points out that it was only in the morning of
December 8, 1994 when PO3 Castaeto got the information on the price of the shabu
and the place and time of the delivery. Thus, it was allegedly incredible that P/Sr. Insp.
Mabanag could already organize the buy-bust team on December 7, 1994 and give
details about the operation to be held in Doa Soledad on December 8, 1994. The
appellant also focuses on certain inconsistencies in the sketches drawn by PO3
[46]

Castaeto and PO3 Galos as to where they parked their respective cars and how many
were used during the operation.
The appellant fails to persuade us. The records show that the December 8
conversation between the appellant and PO3 Castaeto was just a confirmation of their
agreement regarding the sale of the shabu. Prior to that, the confidential informant had
been talking to PO3 Castaetos superior officer, P/Sr. Insp. Mabanag, regarding the
illegal trade of the appellant and, on account of such report and the initial negotiations
between the appellant and PO3 Castaeto, the buy-bust team was formed and briefed
accordingly.[47]

As for the locations of the vehicles used by the NARCOM agents when it parked
along Doa Soledad Street, such is a trivial matter that would not affect the their
credibility. Such a minor inconsistency strengthens, rather than weakens, the credibility
of the witnesses as it erases any suspicion of a rehearsed testimony. We deemed it
[48]

more important that the prosecution witnesses testimonies tallied on material points.
The appellant also cannot assail the validity of his arrest on account of the absence
of a warrant. He was caught in flagrante delicto selling shabu. There was, therefore,
[49] [50]

no need for a warrant to effect his arrest pursuant to Section 5 (a), Rule 113 of the
Revised Rules on Criminal procedure. Said section provides:
[51]

Sec. 5. Arrest, without warrant; when lawfulA 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;

xxx xxx xxx.


Moreover, the rule is that an accused is estopped from assailing the legality of his
arrest if he failed to move to quash the information against him before his arraignment.
Any objection involving the arrest or the procedure in the acquisition by the court of
jurisdiction over the person of an accused must be made before he enters his plea,
otherwise, the objection is deemed waived. Even in the instances not allowed by law, a
[52]

warrantless arrest is not a jurisdictional defect, and objection thereto is waived where
the person arrested submits to arraignment without objection. The subsequent filing of
the charges and the issuance of the corresponding warrant of arrest against a person
illegally detained will cure the defect of that detention. [53]

Next, the appellant claims that the search conducted in his house was unlawful. He
also laments that the NARCOM agents robbed him of his personal properties during the
search and they received money from his relatives after his arrest. This Court need not
tarry on the validity of the said search for the appellant consented to the search. He
admitted that he voluntarily accompanied the policemen to his house. As for the [54]

charges of robbery and extortion, as in the alleged unlawful search made in his house,
those incidents transpired after his arrest.Whether true or not, his liability for the
unlawful sale of shabu remains.
As we have earlier stated, the appellants denial cannot prevail over the positive
testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. We are not unaware of the perception that, in
some instances, law enforcers resort to the practice of planting evidence to extract
information or even to harass civilians. However, like alibi, frame-up is a defense that
has been viewed by the Court with disfavor as it can easily be concocted, hence,
commonly used as a standard line of defense in most prosecutions arising from
violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act. We realize the disastrous consequences on the
enforcement of law and order, not to mention the well-being of society, if the courts,
solely on the basis of the policemens alleged rotten reputation, accept in every instance
this form of defense which can be so easily fabricated. It is precisely for this reason that
the legal presumption that official duty has been regularly performed exists. [55]

The third and fourth issues need not be discussed at length as the same were
already passed upon by this Court when it denied the appellants Motion for New Trial
for lack of merit. We reiterate that the trial court did not err in denying the motion for
[56]

new trial. Section 14, Rule 124 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure provides:

Sec. 14. Motion for new trial.At any time after the appeal from the lower court has
been perfected and before the judgment of the appellate court convicting the accused
becomes final, the latter may move for a new trial on the ground of newly discovered
evidence material to his defense, the motion to conform to the provisions of Section 4,
Rule 121.

A motion for new trial must be based on newly discovered evidence, that is, the
[57]

following must concur: (a) the evidence is discovered after trial; (b) such evidence could
not have been discovered and produced at the trial even with the exercise of
reasonable diligence; and (c) the evidence is material, not merely cumulative,
corroborative, or impeaching and of such weight that, if admitted, could probably
change the judgment. As aptly stated by the trial court, the testimony of the witness
sought to be presented would serve only as impeaching and corroborative evidence. A
new trial is justifiably denied where only impeaching evidence is sought to be introduced
as the court had already passed upon the issue of credibility at the trial and where only
corroborative evidence is to be offered as it would not change the result of the case. [58]

The fifth issue refers to the correctness of the death penalty imposed against the
appellant. To avoid any injustice, we re-read the voluminous records of the case. We
find that the records support the findings of the trial court.
Section 15 of Republic Act No. 7659 provides:

Sec. 15. Sale, Administration, Dispensation, Delivery, Transportation and Distribution


of Regulated Drugs.The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from
five hundred thousand pesos to ten million pesos shall be imposed upon any person
who, unless authorized by law, shall sell, dispense, deliver, transport or distribute any
regulated drug.

xxx xxx xxx.


Section 20, Article IV of R.A. No. 6425 was amended by Section 17 of R.A. No.
7659. It now provides as follows:

Sec. 20. Application of Penalties, Confiscation and Forfeiture of Proceeds or


Instrument of the Crime.The penalties for offenses under xxx Sections 14, 14-A, 15
and 16 of Article III of this Act shall be applied if the dangerous drugs involved is in
any of the following quantities:

xxx xxx xxx

3. 200 grams or more of shabu or methylamphetamine hydrochloride;

xxx xxx xxx

Otherwise, if the quantity involved is less than the foregoing quantities, the penalty
shall range from prision correccional to reclusion perpetua depending upon the
quantity.

It was established that the appellant sold 250.70 grams of shabu. The crime,
according to the Information, was committed with the aggravating circumstance of use
of motor vehicle. It has been established that the appellant used a car in going to their
[59]

meeting place and to transport the subject substance thus facilitating the commission of
the crime. There was no mitigating circumstance. Applying Section 15 in relation to
[60]

Section 20 of R.A. No. 7659 and Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty of
death and a fine ranging from P500,000.00 to P10,000,000.00 should be imposed upon
the appellant. Considering the quantity of the shabu involved in the case at bar, the fine
of P1,000,000.00 is reduced to P500,000.00. [61]

Four (4) members of the Court maintain their position that R.A. No. 7659, insofar as
it prescribes the death penalty, is unconstitutional. Nevertheless, they submit to the
ruling of the Court, by a majority vote, that the law is constitutional and that the death
penalty should be imposed accordingly.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Paraaque (Branch
258) in Criminal Case No. 95-0973, sentencing appellant Baltazar Bongalon y Mateos
to death for violating Section 15, Article III of R.A. No. 6425, as amended, is
AFFIRMED, with modification that the fine imposed shall be reduced to P500,000.00.
Costs against the appellant.
Pursuant to Section 25 of R.A. No. 7659, amending Section 83 of the Revised
Penal Code, upon finality of this Decision, let the records of this case be forthwith
forwarded to the Office of the President for possible exercise of pardoning power.
SO ORDERED.
People vs Recepcion

At about one-thirty on the morning of 28 July 1999 in Sabungan Fastfood and Videoke Pub,
Diosdado Recepcion, Alfredo Baracas, Joemari delos Reyes, Bernardo Ranara, Dominador
Recepcion, Robert Alfonso and Audie Dona, entered the pub. The men occupied table 12 and
ordered beer from waitress Eliza Bautista. A few minutes later, three men from the group
transferred to table 10. Just as Marie (waitress) was approaching table 13 to get the microphone
from a customer, one of the men stood up and fired his gun at another customer. Another from
the group pull out a gun and shot a customer, Rodolfo Ortega, while on his knees. The group
gone berserk and started shooting indiscriminately inside the pub. Even when the group are
about the last of the group who left the pub, was still firing his gun.

When the shooting finally stopped, five lifeless bodies of men were found sprawled on the floor,
- Benjamin Valdez, Augusto Billodo, Renato Cleofas, Rodolfo Ortega and Ruperto San Juan.

Ruben Labjata, a jeepney driver, was waiting for passengers at Dagohoy Street, Caloocan City,
when he heard gunshots. When, unexpectedly, 8 men arrived and ordered all the passengers to
get off the vehicle. The gun men told Labjata to go north until they finally reached, hours later,
Paniqui, Tarlac.

When the group reach Paniqui, Tarlac they alighted, four of the men rode Conrado Marquez
tricycle, while the other four took two more tricycles. Marquez brought the group to Brgy. Coral,
Ramos, Tarlac.

Around lunchtime on 29 July 1999, the Bulacan Police invited Ruben Labjata for questioning.
Taken by police authorities to Tarlac, he pointed to the exact place where the armed men got off
from his vehicle. Conrado Marquez, likewise invited by the police for interrogation, readily
informed the police of the place where he brought the men who hired his tricycle. The police
promptly cordoned the area and the group, surrendered after several calls by the police.

The group were charged with multiple murder, violation of P.D. No. 1866, and robbery in band
before the Regional Trial Court, Caloocan City.

Issue: WON the warrantless arrest made by the police was valid? (ginawa kasi yung warrantless
arrest almost 1 and a half day pagkatapos ng insidente)
Held: Yes. The arrest of appellants has been made in hot pursuit, an exception from the rule
that warrantless arrests are illegal. (Ito lang ang sinabi ng SC about hot pursuit, pero
nadiscuss na natin to kay Atty. Gallant, and doctrine daw ng kaso na to ay na kahit isang araw
na nakalipas nung ginawa yung crimen valid pa rin yung warrantless arrest dito na hot pursuit)

In any event, appellants can no longer assail the illegality of their arrest since such a claim has
not been brought up before or during the arraignment. The failure to timely move for the quashal
of the Information on this basis operates as a waiver of the right to question the supposed
irregularity of the arrest.

MARTINEZ v. PEOPLE

G.R. No. 198694 February 13, 2013

Facts: PO2 Roberto Soque (PO2 Soque), PO2 Alejandro Cepe(PO2 Cepe) and PO3Edilberto
Zeta (PO3 Zeta), who wereall assigned to the Station Anti-Illegal Drugs (SAID) Section of the
Malate Police Station 9 (Police Station 9), conducted a routine foot patrol along Balingkit Street,
Malate, Manila. In the process, they heard a man shouting "Putanginamo! Limangdaannabaito?".
For purportedly violating Manila City Ordinance which punishes breaches of the peace, Ramon
(Petitioner) was apprehended by the authorities. Later, as the petitioner was apprehended, he was
asked to empty his pockets. In the course thereof, the police officers were able to recover 0.173g
of shabu and was confiscated. Consequently, Ramon was charged with possession of dangerous
drugs. The RTC convicted Ramon of the crime of possession of dangerous drugs, finding all
elements to have been established through testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. The court
upheld the legality of the warrantless arrest by reason of disturbance of peace in violation of the
Manila City Ordinance during the time of his apprehension.

The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC finding no error therein.

Issue: Whether the CA erred in affirming the decision of the RTC, was the warrantless arrest
valid and does it follow that the search conducted was admissible as evidence.

Held: Yes.

Enshrined in the fundamental law is a person's right against unwarranted intrusions of the
goverment as provided for by the 1987 Constitution, Article III, Section 2. Nevertheless, there
are exclusionary rules provided by the rules of court that validates warrantless arrests, in the case
at bar it is searches incidental to a lawful arrest, Rule 113, Section 5 (a), flagrante delicto.

The situation of the petitioner however, the warrantless arrest was discredited and negate the
probable cause when the police officers apprehended the accused, it cannot be said that the act of
shouting in a thickly-populated place, with many people conversing with each other on the street,
would constitute any of the acts punishable under Section 844 of the Manila City Ordinance.
Futher stressed, there was no complain heard of with Ramon's shouting. In its totality, the court
observed that the facts and circumstances could have not build a well-found belief that any
breach in peace was made, thus no probable cause existed to justify the warrantless arrest.

Consequently, as the warrantless arrest was invalid, such search and seizure is also deemed
illegal. The shabu purportedly seized from the accused is inadmissible evidence.