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[G.R. No. 127755.

April 14, 1999]


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. JOSELITO DEL ROSARIO y PASCUAL,
accused-appellant.
DECISION
FACTS: The accused-appellant was convicted of the robbery with homicide and sentenced to death. The
conviction of the accused was based on the testimony of a tricycle driver who claimed that the accused
was the one who drove the tricycle, which the suspects used as their get-away vehicle. The accused was
then invited by the police for questioning and he pointed to the location where he dropped off the
suspects. When the police arrived at the supposed hide-out, a shooting incident ensued, resulting to the
death of some of the suspects. After the incident, the accused was taken back to the precint where his
statement was taken on May 14, 1996.However, this was only subscribed on May 22, 1996 and the
accused was made to execute a waiver of detention in the presence of Ex-Judge Talavera. It was noted
that the accused was handcuffed through all this time upon orders of the fiscal and based on the
authorities' belief that the accused might attempt to escape otherwise.
ISSUES: (1) Whether del Rosario was deprived of his rights during custodial investigation at the time he
was invited for questioning at the house of the barangay captain. OR Whether the Miranda rights of the
accused-appellant were violated.
(3) Whether the warrantless arrest of the accused-appellant was lawful.
RULINGS:
(1) YES. Del Rosario was deprived of his rights during custodial investigation. From the time he was
invited" for questioning at the house of the barangay captain, he was already under effective custodial
investigation, but he was not apprised nor made aware thereof by the investigating officers. The police
already knew the name of the tricycle driver and the latter was already a suspect in the robbing and
senseless slaying of Virginia Bernas. Since the prosecution failed to establish that del Rosario had waived
his right to remain silent, his verbal admissions on his participation in the crime even before his actual
arrest were inadmissible against him, as the same transgressed the safeguards provided by law and the
Bill of Rights. Herein like victim Virginia Bernas, del Rosario too was a hapless victim who was forcibly
used by other persons with nefarious designs to perpetrate a dastardly act. Del Rosario's defense of
"irresistible force" has been substantiated by clear and convincing evidence. Del Rosario was threatened
with a gun. He could not therefore be expected to flee nor risk his life to help a stranger. A person under
the same circumstances would be more concerned with his personal welfare and security rather than the
safety of a person whom he only saw for the first time that day. On the other hand, conspiracy between
him and his co-accused was not proved beyond a whimper of a doubt by the prosecution, thus clearing
del Rosario of any complicity in the crime charged.
OR
(1) YES. It was established that the accused was not reviewed of his rights to remain silent and to have
competent and independent counsel in the course of the investigation. The Court held that the accused
should always be appraised of his Miranda rights from the moment he is arrested by the authorities as
this is deemed the start of custodial investigation. In fact, the Court included invitations by police officers
in the scope of custodial investigations. It is evident in this case that when the police invited the accusedappellant to the station, he was already considered as the suspect in the case. Therefore, the questions
asked of him were no longer general inquiries into an unsolved crime, but were intended to elicit
information about his participation in the crime. However, the Miranda rights may be waived, provided that
the waiver is voluntary, express, in writing and made in the presence of counsel. Unfortunately, the
prosecution failed to establish that the accused made such a waiver.
(For issue number 2) NO. There are certain situations when authorities may conduct a lawful
warrantless arrest: (1) when the accused is caught in flagrante delicto; (2) when the arrest is made
immediately after the crime wasc ommitted; and (3) when the one to be arrested is an escaped convict.

The arrest of the accused in this case did not fall in any of these exceptions. The arrest was not
conducted immediately after the consummation of the crime; rather, it was done a day after. The
authorities also did not have personal knowledge of the facts indicating that the person to be arrested had
committed the offense because they were not there when the crime was committed. They merely relied
on the account of one eyewitness. Unfortunately, the warrantless arrest was not lawful; this did not affect
the jurisdiction of the Court in this case because the accused still submitted to arraignment despite the
illegality of his arrest. In effect, he waived his right to contest the legality of the warrantless arrest.