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REVALDO V. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES CASE DIGEST 1-2.

FACTS Petitioner Olympio Revaldo was charged with the offense of illegal possession of premium hardwood lumber in violation of Section 68 of the Forestry Code. On June 18, 1992, around 11:00 in the morning, Chief Alejandro, SP03 Talisic, SP03 Sunit went to the house of the petitioner to verify the report of Sunit that petitioner had in possession of lumber without any necessary documents, they were not armed with a search warrant and they confiscated 20 pieces of lumber of different varieties lying around the vicinity of the house of the petitioner. The petitioner contends that the warrantless search and seizure conducted by the police officers was illegal and thus the items seized should not have been admitted in evidence against him. The respondent contends that even without a search warrant, the personnel of the PNP can seize the forest products cut, gathered or taken by an offender pursuant to Section 80 of the Forestry Code.

3. ISSUES 4-5. RULING The arrest of Olympio Revaldo was not illegal. Section 80 of the Forestry Code provides that a forest officer or employee of the Bureau or any personnel of the Philippine Constabulary/Philippine National Police shall arrest even without warrant any person who has committed or is committing in his presence any of the offenses defined in this chapter. He shall also confiscate, in favor of the Government, the tools and equipment used in committing the offense, and the forest products cut, gathered or taken by the offender in the process of committing the offense. In the case of People V. Doria, search warrant is not necessary under the plain view doctrine. It applies when; a) the law enforcement officer in search of 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 the 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. With regard to the mere possession of lumber without documents, Section 68 of the Forestry Code provides, possession of timber or other forest products without legal documents required under existing Forest laws and regulations constitutes a violation. In the case of People V. Que, Supreme Court held that mere possession of forest products, without proper documents consummates the crime whether or not it comes from a legal source. In the imposition of the penalty, Article 309 (3), in relation to Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code is incorrect for the reason that the prosecution failed to present the proof as to the correct value of the lumber. In the case of Merida V. People, to prove the amount of the property taken for fixing the Whether or not the arrest of Olympio Revaldo was illegal Whether or not the mere possession of the lumber without legal documents gives rise to criminal liability Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the imposed penalty by the RTC.

penalty imposable, the prosecution must present more than a mere uncorroborated estimate of the fact. In the absence, the court may apply the minimum penalty under Article 309 (6) and the penalty is arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods, however considering violation of Forestry Code in which it punishes as qualified theft the penalty increased by two degrees. Hence, the sentence is indeterminate penalty of four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor, as minimum, to two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day of prision correctional, as maximum.

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