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301 SCRA 668
Facts: North Metropolitan District, Philippine National
Police (PNP) Narcotics Command (Narcom), received
information from two (2) civilian informants (CI) that one
Jun was engaged in illegal drug activities in Mandaluyong
City. The Narcom agents decided to entrap and arrest
Jun in a buy-bust operation scheduled on December 5,
1995 at E. Jacinto Street in Mandaluyong City.
On December 5, 1995, at 6:00 in the morning, P/Insp.
Cortes designated PO3 Manlangit as the poseur-buyer and
SPO1 Badua as his back-up, and the rest of the team as
perimeter security. PO3 Manlangit set aside P1,600.00 as
money for the buy-bust operation.. PO3 Manlangit marked
the bills with his initials and listed their serial numbers in
the police blotter.
At 7:20 of the same morning, Jun appeared and the CI
introduced PO3 Manlangit as interested in buying one (1)
kilo of marijuana. PO3 Manlangit handed Jun the marked
bills worth P1,600.00. Jun instructed PO3 Manlangit to
wait for him at the corner of Shaw Boulevard and Jacinto
Street while he got the marijuana from his associate. An
hour later, Jun appeared at the agreed place where PO3
Manlangit, the CI and the rest of the team were waiting.
Jun took out from his bag an object wrapped in plastic
and gave it to PO3 Manlangit. PO3 Manlangit forthwith
arrested Jun as SPO1 Badua rushed to help in the arrest.
They frisked Jun but did not find the marked bills on

him. Upon inquiry, Jun revealed that he left the money at

the house of his associate named Neneth. Jun led the
police team to Neneths house nearby at Daang Bakal.
The team found the door of Neneths house open and a
woman inside. Jun identified the woman as his associate.
SPO1 Badua asked Neneth about the P1,600.00 as PO3
Manlangit looked over Neneths house. Standing by the
door, PO3 Manlangit noticed a carton box under the dining
table. He saw that one of the boxs flaps was open and
inside the box was something wrapped in plastic. The
plastic wrapper and its contents appeared similar to the
marijuana earlier sold to him by Jun. His suspicion
aroused, PO3 Manlangit entered Neneths house and took
hold of the box. He peeked inside the box and found that
it contained ten (10) bricks of what appeared to be dried
marijuana leaves.
Simultaneous with the boxs discovery, SPO1 Badua
recovered the marked bills from Neneth. The policemen
arrested Neneth. They took Neneth and Jun,
together with the box, its contents and the marked bills
and turned them over to the investigator at headquarters.
It was only then that the police learned that Jun is
Florencio Doria y Bolado while Neneth is Violeta Gaddao y
Catama. The one (1) brick of dried marijuana leaves
recovered from Jun plus the ten (10) bricks recovered
from Neneths house were examined at the PNP Crime
Laboratory. The bricks, eleven (11) in all, were found to be

dried marijuana fruiting tops of various weights totaling

7,641.08 grams. The RTC found them guilty.
1. WON the warrantless search of Doria is valid.
2. WON the warrantless arrest of Gaddao is valid
thereby justifying the search of her person and
house, and the admissibility of the pieces of
evidence obtained therefrom as incident to her
3. WON the marijuana was seized validly for being
plain view of the police officers.
1. We also hold that the warrantless arrest of
accused-appellant Doria is not unlawful.
Warrantless arrests are allowed in three instances as
provided by Section 5 of Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules on
Criminal Procedure, to wit:
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace
officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest
a person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested
has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit an offense;
(b) When an offense has 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
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 5 (a), as above-quoted, a person may be
arrested without a warrant if he has committed, is
actually committing, or is attempting to commit an
In the case at bar, Appellant Doria was caught in the act of
committing an offense. When an accused is apprehended in
flagrante delicto as a result of a buy-bust operation, the
police are not only authorized but duty-bound to arrest him
even without a warrant.
There is no rule of law which requires that in "buy-bust"
operations there must be a simultaneous exchange of the
marked money and the prohibited drug between the
poseur-buyer and the pusher.
Again, the decisive fact is that the poseur-buyer received
the marijuana from the accused-appellant.

2. The warrantless arrest of appellant Gaddao, the

search of her person and residence, and the
seizure of the box of marijuana and marked bills
are not valid.
Accused-appellant Gaddao was not caught red-handed
during the buy-bust operation to give ground for her
arrest under Section 5 (a) of Rule 113. She was not
committing any crime. Contrary to the finding of the trial
court, there was no occasion at all for appellant Gaddao to
flee from the policemen to justify her arrest in hot

pursuit. In fact, she was going about her daily chores

when the policemen pounced on her.
Neither could the arrest of appellant Gaddao be justified
under the second instance of Rule 113.
knowledge of facts in arrests without warrant under
Section 5 (b) of Rule 113 must be based upon probable
cause which means an actual belief or reasonable
grounds of suspicion. The grounds of suspicion are
reasonable when, in the absence of actual belief of the
arresting officers, the suspicion that the person to be
arrested is probably guilty of committing the offense, is
based on actual facts, i.e., supported by circumstances
sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable
cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. A reasonable
suspicion therefore must be founded on probable cause,
coupled with good faith on the part of the peace officers
making the arrest.
In this case, there was no reasonable ground of suspicion
because Gaddao was arrested solely on the basis of the
alleged identification made by her co-accused.
Appellant Doria did not point to appellant Gaddao as his
associate in the drug business, but as the person with
whom he left the marked bills. This identification does not
necessarily lead to the conclusion that appellant Gaddao
conspired with her co-accused in pushing drugs. Appellant
Doria may have left the money in her house, with or
without her knowledge, with or without any conspiracy.
Save for accused-appellant Dorias word, the Narcom
agents had no reasonable grounds to believe that she was
engaged in drug pushing.

Since the warrantless arrest of accused-appellant Gaddao

was illegal, it follows that the search of her person and
home and the subsequent seizure of the marked bills and
marijuana cannot be deemed legal as an incident to her

3. The marijuana was not in plain view of the police

officers and its seizure without the requisite
search warrant was unlawful.
It is clear that an object is in plain view if the object itself
is plainly exposed to sight. The difficulty arises when the
object is inside a closed container. Where the object
seized was inside a closed package, the object itself is not
in plain view and therefore cannot be seized without a
warrant. However, if the package proclaims its contents,
whether by its distinctive configuration, its transparency,
or if its contents are obvious to an observer, then the
contents are in plain view and may be seized.
In this case, a close scrutiny of the records reveals that
the plastic wrapper was not colorless and transparent as to
clearly manifest its contents to a viewer. Each of the ten
(10) bricks of marijuana in the box was individually
wrapped in old newspaper and placed inside plastic bags
white, pink or blue in color. The content of the box
where the marijuana was partially hidden was not readily
apparent to PO3 Manlangit. He did not know exactly what
the box contained that he had to ask appellant Gaddao
about its contents.

219 SCRA 756
Facts: Edna Edwina Reyes testified that at about 7:00 a.m.
of April 30, 1990, appellant Gabriel Gerente, together with
Fredo Echigoren and Totoy Echigoren, started drinking
liquor and smoking marijuana in the house of the appellant
which is about six (6) meters away from the house of the
prosecution witness who was in her house on that day. She
overheard the three men talking about their intention to
kill Clarito Blace. She testified that she heard Fredo
Echigoren saying, "Gabriel, papatayin natin si Clarito Blace,"
and Totoy Echigoren allegedly seconded Fredo's suggestion
saying: "Papatayin natin 'yan mamaya." Appellant allegedly
agreed: "Sigue, papatayin natin mamaya."
Fredo and Totoy Echigoren and Gerente carried out their
plan to kill Clarito Blace at about 2:00 p.m. of the same day.
The prosecution witness, Edna Edwina Reyes, testified that
she witnessed the killing. Fredo Echigoren struck the first
blow against Clarito Blace, followed by Totoy Echigoren and
Gabriel Gerente who hit him twice with a piece of wood in
the head and when he fell, Totoy Echigoren dropped a
hollow block on the victim's head. Thereafter, the three
men dragged Blace to a place behind the house of Gerente.
At about 4:00 p.m. of the same day, Patrolman Jaime
Urrutia of the Valenzuela Police Station received a report
from the Palo Police Detachment about a mauling incident.
He went to the Valenzuela District Hospital where the

victim was brought. He was informed by the hospital

officials that the victim died on arrival. The cause of death
was massive fracture of the skull caused by a hard and
heavy object. Right away, Patrolman Urrutia, together with
Police Corporal Romeo Lima and Patrolman Alex Umali,
proceeded to Paseo de Blas where the mauling incident
took place. There they found a piece of wood with blood
stains, a hollow block and two roaches of marijuana. They
were informed by the prosecution witness, Edna Edwina
Reyes, that she saw the killing and she pointed to Gabriel
Gerente as one of the three men who killed Clarito.
The policemen proceeded to the house of the appellant who
was then sleeping. They told him to come out of the house
and they introduced themselves as policemen. Patrolman
Urrutia frisked appellant and found a coin purse in his
pocket which contained dried leaves wrapped in cigarette
foil. The dried leaves were sent to the National Bureau of
Investigation for examination. The Forensic Chemist found
them to be marijuana.
Only the appellant, Gabriel Gerente, was apprehended by
the police. The other suspects, Fredo and Totoy Echigoren,
are still at large.
On May 2, 1990, two separate informations were filed by
Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Benjamin Caraig against him
for Violation of Section 8, Art. II, of R.A. 6425, and for
The trial court rendered a decision convicting him of
Violation of Section 8 of R.A. 6425 and of Murder. Hence,
this appeal.

1 WON the warrantless arrest is valid.
2 WON the seizure of the marijuana leaves violates
the accused constitutional right not to be subjected
to illegal search and seizure.
1 The warrantless arrest is valid because pursuant
to Sec. 5(b) of Rule 113 of the Rules of Court
the arresting officer has a personal knowledge
that the person to be arrested has committed
the crime.
The policemen arrested Gerente only some three (3)
hours after Gerente and his companions had killed
Blace. They saw Blace dead in the hospital and when
they inspected the scene of the crime, they found
the instruments of death: a piece of wood and a
concrete hollow block which the killers had used to
bludgeon him to death. The eye-witness, Edna
Edwina Reyes, reported the happening to the
policemen and pinpointed her neighbor, Gerente, as
one of the killers. Under those circumstances, since
the policemen had personal knowledge of the violent
death of Blace and of facts indicating that Gerente
and two others had killed him, they could lawfully
arrest Gerente without a warrant. If they had
postponed his arrest until they could obtain a
warrant, he would have fled the law as his two
companions did.

The seizure of marijuana leaves in Gerentes

possession does not violate his constitutional right
because they were incident to a lawful
warrantless arrest.
Under Sec. 12, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of
Court, a person lawfully arrested may be searched
for dangerous weapons or anything which may be
used as proof of the commission of an offense,
without a search warrant.
The frisk and search of appellant's person upon his
arrest was a permissible precautionary measure of
arresting officers to protect themselves, for the
person who is about to be arrested may be armed
and might attack them unless he is first disarmed.

195 SCRA 388
Facts: On March 21, 1989, Pat. Roy Fulgencio, a member of
the INP, Kalibo, Aklan, was instructed by P/Lt. Vicente
Seraspi, Jr. (Station Commander of the INP Kalibo, Aklan)
to monitor the activities of appellant Edison Sucro,
because of information gathered by Seraspi that Sucro
was selling marijuana.

As planned, at about 5:00 P.M. on said date, Pat. Fulgencio

positioned himself under the house of a certain Arlie
Regalado at C. Quimpo Street. Adjacent to the house of
Regalado, about 2 meters away, was a chapel. Thereafter,
Pat. Fulgencio saw appellant enter the chapel, taking
something which turned out later to be marijuana from the
compartment of a cart found inside the chapel, and then
return to the street where he handed the same to a buyer,
Aldie Borromeo. After a while appellant went back to the
chapel and again came out with marijuana which he gave to
a group of persons. It was at this instance that Pat.
Fulgencio radioed P/Lt. Seraspi and reported the activity
going on. P/Lt. Seraspi instructed Pat. Fulgencio to continue
monitoring developments. At about 6:30 P.M., Pat. Fulgencio
again called up Seraspi to report that a third buyer later
Identified as Ronnie Macabante, was transacting with
At that point, the team of P/Lt. Seraspi proceeded to the
area and while the police officers were at the Youth Hostel
at Maagma St., Pat. Fulgencio told P/Lt. Seraspi to
intercept Macabante and appellant. P/Lt. Seraspi and his
team caught up with Macabante at the crossing of Mabini
and Maagma Sts. in front of the Aklan Medical Center.
Upon seeing the police, Macabante threw something to the
ground which turned out to be a tea bag of marijuana.
When confronted, Macabante readily admitted that he
bought the same from appellant (Edison Sucro) in front of
the chapel. The police team was able to overtake and
arrest appellant at the corner of C. Quimpo and Veterans

Sts. The police recovered 19 sticks and 4 teabags of

marijuana from the cart inside the chapel and another
teabag from Macabante, The teabags of marijuana were
sent to the PC-INP Crime Laboratory Service, at Camp
Delgado, Iloilo City for analysis. The specimens were all
found positive of marijuana.
The accused-appellant contends that his arrest was illegal,
being a violation of his rights granted under Section 2,
Article III of the 1987 Constitution. He stresses that
there was sufficient time for the police officers to apply
for a search and arrest warrants considering that
Fulgencio informed his Station Commander of the activities
of the accused two days before March 21, 1989, the date
of his arrest.
1. WON the arrest without warrant of the accused
is lawful.
2. WON the evidence resulting from such arrest is
1. Yes, the arrest without warrant of the
accused is lawful.
Under Sec. 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Court,
A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant,
arrest a person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested
has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit an offense;

(b) When an offense has just been committed and

he has probable cause to believe based on personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be
arrested has committed it.
An offense is committed in the presence or within the
view of an officer, within the meaning of the rule
authorizing an arrest without a warrant, when the
officer sees the offense, although at a distance, or
hears the disturbances created thereby and proceeds at
once to the scene thereof.
The records show that Fulgencio went to Arlie Regalado's
house at C. Quimpo Street to monitor the activities of the
accused who was earlier reported to be selling marijuana at
a chapel two (2) meters away from Regalado's house.
Fulgencio, within a distance of two meters saw Sucro
conduct his nefarious activity. He saw Sucro talk to some
persons, go inside the chapel, and return to them and
exchange some things. These, Sucro did three times during
the time that he was being monitored. Fulgencio would then
relay the on-going transaction to P/Lt. Seraspi.
Anent the second requirement, the fact that Macabante,
when intercepted by the police, was caught throwing the
marijuana stick and when confronted, readily admitted that
he bought the same from accused-appellant clearly
indicates that Sucro had just sold the marijuana stick to
Macabante, and therefore, had just committed an illegal
act of which the police officers had personal knowledge,
being members of the team which monitored Sucro's
nefarious activity.

The failure of the police officers to secure a warrant

stems from the fact that their knowledge acquired from
the surveillance was insufficient to fulfill the requirements
for the issuance of a search warrant. What is paramount is
that probable cause existed.
2. The evidence resulting from such arrest is
admissible there having a valid search and seizure
incident to a lawful arrest.
There is nothing unlawful about the arrest considering its
compliance with the requirements of a warrantless arrest.
Ergo, the fruits obtained from such lawful arrest are
admissible in evidence.


195 SCRA 388


54 SCRA 312
Nature of the Action: Petition to quash and annul a
search warrant issued by respondent Judge Jose Herrera

of the City Court of Manila, and to command respondents

to return immediately the documents, papers, receipts and
records alleged to have been illegally seized thereunder by
agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) led
by respondent Celso Zoleta, Jr.

of loss, Loss Registers, Books of Accounts, including

cash receipts and disbursements and general ledger,
check vouchers, income tax returns, and other papers
connected therewith ... for the years 1961 to 1964 to
be dealt with as the law directs.

Facts: On October 27, 1965, respondent Judge Herrera,

upon the sworn application of NBI agent Celso Zoleta, Jr.
supported by the deposition of his witness, Manuel
Cuaresma, issued a search warrant in connection with an
undocketed criminal case for estafa, falsification,
insurance fraud, and tax evasion, against the Asian
Surety and Insurance Co.
The search warrant reads:
It appearing to the satisfaction of the undersigned, after
examining under oath NBI Agent Celso J. Zoleta, Jr. and
his witness Manuel Cuaresma that there are good and
sufficient reasons to believe that Mr. William Li Yao or his
employees has/have in his/their control in premises No.
2nd Floor Republic Supermarket Building, in Rizal Avenue
district of Sta. Cruz, Manila, property (Subject of the
offense; stolen or embezzled and proceeds or fruits of
the offense used or intended to be used as the means
of committing the offense) should be seized and brought
to the undersigned.
You are hereby commanded to make an immediate search at
any time in the ----- of the premises above-described and
forthwith seize and take possession of the following
personal property to wit: Fire Registers, Loss Bordereau,
Adjusters Report including subrogation receipt and proof

Armed with the search warrant Zoleta and other agents

entered the premises of the Republic Supermarket Building
and served the search warrant. After the search they
seized and carried away two (2) carloads of documents,
papers and receipts.
Petitioner assails the validity of the search warrant.
Issue: WON the search warrant is valid.
Held: The search warrant is invalid based on the following.

Under Sec. 4, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of

Court, no search warrant shall for more than one
specific offense. In the case at bar, the search
warrant was issued for four separate and distinct
offenses of: (1) estafa, (2) falsification, (3) tax
evasion and (4) insurance fraud.
The search warrant was a general warrants for it
violates the constitutional mandate requiring
particular description of the place to be searched
and the persons or things to be seized. In the case
at bar, the search warrant herein involved reads in
part: "... property (Subject of the offense,
stolen or embezzled and proceeds or fruits of

the offense used or intended to be used as the

means of committing the offense) should be
seized and brought to the undersigned."
The respondent judge intended the search to apply
to all the three classes of property. It is impossible
to see how the above-described property can
simultaneously be contraband goods, stolen or
embezzled and other proceeds or fruits of one and
the same offense. What is plain and clear is the
fact that the respondent Judge made no attempt to
determine whether the property he authorized to
be searched and seized pertains specifically to any
one of the three classes of personal property that
may be searched and seized under a search warrant
under Rule 126, Sec. 3 of the Rules. The respondent
Judge simply authorized search and seizure under
an omnibus description of the personal properties to
be seized.

Failure to give a detailed receipt of the things

seized. Going over the receipts, the Court found
the following: one bordereau of reinsurance, 8 fire
registers, 1 marine register, four annual statements,
folders described only as Bundle gm-1 red folders;
bundle 17-22 big carton folders; folders of various
sizes, etc., without stating therein the nature and
kind of documents contained in the folders of which
there were about a thousand of them that were
seized. In the seizure of two carloads of documents
and other papers, the possibility that the

respondents took away private papers of the

petitioner, in violation of his constitutional rights, is
not remote, for the NBI agents virtually had a field
day with the broad and unlimited search warrant
issued by respondent Judge as their passport.
The search warrant violated the specific injunctions
of Section 8 of Rule 126. 6 Annex "A" of the
Petition which is the search warrant in question
left blank the "time" for making search, while
actual search was conducted in the evening of
October 27, 1965, at 7:30 p.m., until the wee hours
of the morning of October 28, 1965, thus causing
untold inconveniences to petitioners herein.
Authorities 7 are of the view that where a search is
to be made during the night time, the authority for
executing the same at that time should appear in
the directive on the face of the warrant.
Existence of Probable cause and the time of the
making of the Search Warrant. It has likewise been
observed that the offenses alleged took place from
1961 to 1964, and the application for search warrant
was made on October 27, 1965. The time of the
application is so far remote in time as to make
the probable cause of doubtful veracity and the
warrant vitally defective. A good and practical rule
of thumb to measure the nearness of time given in
the affidavit as to the date of the alleged offense,
and the time of making the affidavit is thus
expressed: The nearer the time at which the
observation of the offense is alleged to have been

made, the more reasonable the conclusion of

establishment of probable cause.
PREMISES CONSIDERED, petition is hereby granted; the
search warrant of October 27, 1965, is nullified and set
aside, and the respondents are hereby ordered to return
immediately all documents, papers and other objects seized
or taken thereunder.

232 SCRA 406
Brief Summary: Two passengers who were apprehended
after they supposedly staged a hold-up inside a passenger
jeepney on September 29, 1990 were haled to court, not
for the felonious asportation, but for possession of the
two unlicensed firearms and bullets recovered from them
which were instrumental in the commission of the robo.
At around 3:45 in the morning of September 29, 1990,
when Percival Tan was driving his jeepney, two men boarded
the vehicle in Cubao. When they crossed Pasay Road, the
two wayfarers, together with two other companions,
announced a hold-up. Percival Tan was instructed to
proceed atop the Magallanes interchange where the other
passengers were divested of their personal belongings,
including the jacket of passenger Rene Araneta.
Thereafter, the robbers alighted at the Shell Gas Station
near the Magallanes Commercial Center after which
Percival Tan and his passengers went to Fort Bonifacio to

report the crime. A CAPCOM team was forthwith formed

to track down the culprits. Victim Rene Araneta who went
with the responding police officers, upon seeing four
persons, one of whom was wearing his stolen jacket, walking
casually towards Fort Bonifacio, told the police authorities
to accost said persons. After the CAPCOM officers
introduced themselves, the four men scampered to
different directions but three of them, namely, Tirso Acol,
Pio Boses, and Albert Blanco, were apprehended. Tirso Acol
and Pio Boses were each found in possession of an
unlicensed .38 caliber revolver with bullets. After the
arrest, the three men were brought to Fort Bonifacio and
were identified by Percival Tan and the passengers who
ganged up on the accused.
1 WON the warrantless arrest is valid.
2 WON the warrantless search is valid.

1 Yes. The warrantless arrest is valid.
Section 5(b) of Rule 113 serves as an exception to the
requisite warrant prior to arrest: When an offense has
just been committed, and he has personal knowledge based
on the facts and circumstances that the person to be
arrested has committed it.
In the case at bar, the police team was formed and
dispatched to look for the persons responsible for the

crime on account of the information related by Percival Tan

and Rene Araneta that they had just been robbed.
2 Since accused-appellant's arrest was lawful, it
follows that the search made incidental thereto
was valid.
Moreover, the unlicensed firearms were found when the
police team apprehended the accused for the robbery and
not for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.


232 SCRA 249
Associate Justice Regalado; May 6, 1994
Facts: On March 22, 1990, 1st Lt. Absalon V. Salboro of
the CAPCOM Northern Sector (now Central Sector) filed
with the Regional Trial Court of Kalookan City an
application for search warrant. The search warrant was
sought for in connection with an alleged violation of P.D.
1866 (Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunitions)
perpetrated at No. 25 Newport St., corner Marlboro St.,
Fairview, Quezon City.
On March 23, 1990, respondent RTC Judge of Kalookan
City issued Search Warrant No. 95-90. On the same day,
at around 2:30 p.m., members of the CAPCOM, armed with
subject search warrant, proceeded to the situs of the
offense alluded to, where a labor seminar of the
Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research
(EILER) was then taking place. According to CAPCOM's

"Inventory of Property Seized," firearms, explosive

materials and subversive documents, among others, were
seized and taken during the search. And all the sixty-one
(61) persons found within the premises searched were
brought to Camp Karingal, Quezon City but most of them
were later released, with the exception of the herein
petitioners, EILER Instructors, who were indicated for
violation of P.D. 1866 in Criminal Case No. Q-90-11757
before Branch 88 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon
City, presided over by respondent Judge Tirso D.C.
On July 10, 1990, petitioners presented a "Motion for
Consolidation, Quashal of Search Warrant and For the
Suppression of All Illegally Acquired Evidence" before the
Quezon City court; and a "Supplemental Motion to the
Motion for Consolidation, Quashal of Search Warrant and
Exclusion of Evidence Illegally Obtained.
On September 21, 1990, the respondent Quezon City
Judge issued the challenged order, consolidating subject
cases but denying the prayer for the quashal of the search
warrant under attack, the validity of which warrant was
upheld; opining that the same falls under the category of
Writs and Processes, within the contemplation of
paragraph 3(b) of the Interim Rules and Guidelines, and can
be served not only within the territorial jurisdiction of the
issuing court but anywhere in the judicial region of the
issuing court (National Capital Judicial Region).
Respondent Court of Appeals rendered judgment, in effect
affirming that of the trial court, by denying due course to
the petition for certiorari and lifting the temporary

restraining order it had issued on November 29, 1990 in

connection therewith. This judgment of respondent court
is now impugned in and sought to be reversed through the
present recourse before this Court.
Issue: WON a court may take cognizance of an application
for a search warrant in connection with an offense
committed outside its territorial boundary and, thereafter,
issue the warrant to conduct a search on a place outside
the court's supposed territorial jurisdiction.
Held: Yes. A court may take cognizance of an application
for a search warrant in connection with an offense
committed outside its territorial boundary and, thereafter,
issue the warrant to conduct a search on a place outside
the court's supposed territorial jurisdiction.
1 A search warrant is but a judicial process, not a
criminal action. No legal provision, statutory or
reglementary, expressly or impliedly provides a
jurisdictional or territorial limit on its area of
No law or rule imposes such a limitation on search
warrants, in the same manner that no such restriction is
provided for warrants of arrest. When the law or rules
would provide conditions, qualifications or restrictions,
they so state. The arguments of the petitioners are not
inferable by necessary implication from the statutory
provisions which are presumed to be complete and

expressive of the intendment of the framers, a contrary

interpretation on whatever pretext should not be
A bit of legal history on this contestation will be helpful.
The jurisdictional rule heretofore was that writs and
processes of the so-called inferior courts could be
enforced outside the province only with the approval of the
former court of first instance. 21 Under the Judiciary
Reorganization Act, the enforcement of such writs and
processes no longer needs the approval of the regional trial
court. 22 On the other hand, while, formerly, writs and
processes of the then courts of first instance were
enforceable throughout the Philippines, 23 under the
Interim or Transitional Rules and Guidelines, certain
specified writs issued by a regional trial court are now
enforceable only within its judicial region.

Practical consideration.
This is but a necessary and inevitable consequence
of the nature and purpose of a search warrant. The Court
cannot be blind to the fact that it is extremely difficult,
as it undeniably is, to detect or elicit information regarding
the existence and location of illegally possessed or
prohibited articles. The Court is accordingly convinced that
it should not make the requisites for the apprehension of
the culprits and the confiscation of such illicit items, once
detected, more onerous if not impossible by imposing
further niceties of procedure or substantive rules of
jurisdiction through decisional dicta. For that matter, we

are unaware of any instance wherein a search warrant was

struck down on objections based on territorial jurisdiction.
We do not believe that the enforcement of a search
warrant issued by a court outside the territorial
jurisdiction wherein the place to be searched is located
would create a constitutional question. Nor are we swayed
by the professed apprehension that the law enforcement
authorities may resort to what could be a permutation of
forum shopping, by filing an application for the warrant
with a "friendly" court. It need merely be recalled that a
search warrant is only a process, not an action.
Furthermore, the constitutional mandate is translated into
specifically enumerated safeguards in Rule 126 of the 1985
Rules on Criminal Procedure for the issuance of a search
warrant, 26 and all these have to be observed regardless
of whatever court in whichever region is importuned for or
actually issues a search warrant. Said requirements,
together with the ten-day lifetime of the warrant would
discourage resort to a court in another judicial region, not
only because of the distance but also the contingencies of
travel and the danger involved, unless there are really
compelling reasons for the authorities to do so. Besides, it
does seem odd that such constitutional protests have not
been made against warrants of arrest which are
enforceable indefinitely and anywhere although they
involve, not only property and privacy, but persons and
On the other hand, it is a matter of judicial knowledge that
the authorities have to contend now and then with local and

national criminal syndicates of considerable power and

influence, political or financial in nature, and so pervasive
as to render foolhardy any attempt to obtain a search
warrant in the very locale under their sphere of control.
Nor should we overlook the fact that to do so will
necessitate the transportation of applicant's witnesses to
and their examination in said places, with the attendant
risk, danger and expense. Also, a further well-founded
precaution, obviously born of experience and verifiable
data, is articulated by the court a quo, as quoted by
respondent court: This court is of the further belief that
the possible leakage of information which is of utmost
importance in the issuance of a search warrant is secured
(against) where the issuing magistrate within the region
does not hold court sessions in the city or municipality,
within the region, where the place to be searched is
The foregoing situations may also have obtained and were
taken into account in the foreign judicial pronouncement
that, in the absence of statutory restrictions, a justice of
the peace in one district of the county may issue a search
warrant to be served in another district of the county and
made returnable before the justice of still another district
or another court having jurisdiction to deal with the
matters involved. In the present state of our law on the
matter, we find no such statutory restrictions both with
respect to the court which can issue the search warrant
and the enforcement thereof anywhere in the Philippines.

The Supreme Court lay down the following policy

1. The court wherein the criminal case is pending shall have
primary jurisdiction to issue search warrants necessitated
by and for purposes of said case. An application for a
search warrant may be filed with another court only under
extreme and compelling circumstances that the applicant
must prove to the satisfaction of the latter court which
may or may not give due course to the application
depending on the validity of the justification offered for
not filing the same in the court with primary jurisdiction
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. All
grounds and objections then available, existent or known
shall be raised in the original or subsequent proceedings
for the quashal of the warrant, otherwise they shall be
deemed waived.
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. Since two separate courts with different
participations are involved in this situation, a motion to

quash a search warrant and a motion to suppress evidence

are alternative and not cumulative remedies. In order to
prevent forum shopping, a motion to quash shall
consequently be governed by the omnibus motion rule,
provided, however, that objections not available, existent
or known during the proceedings for the quashal of the
warrant may be raised in the hearing of the motion to
suppress. The resolution of the court on the motion to
suppress shall likewise be subject to any proper remedy in
the appropriate higher court.
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
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.
Where the issue of which court will try the case shall have
been resolved, such court shall be considered as vested
with primary jurisdiction to act on applications for search
warrants incident to the criminal case.

DAVIDE [concurring and dissenting]
The majority opinion enunciates these two principles:

1. Before the criminal action is filed with the appropriate

court, a court which has no territorial jurisdiction over the
crime may validly entertain an application for and
thereafter issue a search warrant in connection with the
commission of such crime; and
2. After the filing of the criminal action, the court with
which it was filed has primary jurisdiction to issue search
warrants necessitated by and for purposes of said case;
however, under extreme and compelling circumstances,
another court may issue a search warrant in connection
with said case.
I am unable to agree with the first and with the exception
to the second.
The absence of any express statutory provision prohibiting
a court from issuing a search warrant in connection with a
crime committed outside its territorial jurisdiction should
not be construed as a grant of blanket authority to any
court of justice in the country to issue a search warrant in
connection with a crime committed outside its territorial
jurisdiction. The majority view suggests or implies that a
municipal trial court in Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, or Batanes can
validly entertain an application for a search warrant and
issue one in connection with a crime committed in Manila.
Elsewise stated, all courts in the Philippines, including the

municipal trial courts, can validly issue a search warrant in

connection with a crime committed anywhere in the
Philippines. Simply put, all courts of justice in the
Philippines have, for purposes of issuing a search warrant,
jurisdiction over the entire archipelago.
I cannot subscribe to this view since, in the first place, a
search warrant is but an incident to a main case and
involves the exercise of an ancillary jurisdiction therefore,
the authority to issue it must necessarily be co-extensive
with the court's territorial jurisdiction. To hold otherwise
would be to add an exception to the statutory provisions
defining the territorial jurisdiction of the various courts
of the country, which would amount to judicial legislation.
The territorial jurisdiction of the courts is determined by
law, and a reading of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 discloses
that the territorial jurisdiction of regional trial courts,
metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts and
municipal circuit trial courts are confined to specific
territories. In the second place, the majority view may
legitimize abuses that would result in the violation the civil
rights of an accused or the infliction upon him of undue and
unwarranted burdens and inconvenience as when, for
instance, an accused who is a resident of Basco, Batanes,
has to file a motion to quash a search warrant issued by
the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila in connection with
an offense he allegedly committed in Itbayat, Batanes.
Nor can Stonehill vs. Diokno (20 SCRA 383) be an
authoritative confirmation of the unlimited or unrestricted

power of any court to issue search warrants in connection

with crimes committed outside its territorial jurisdiction.
While it may be true that the forty-two search warrants
involved therein were issued by several Judges
specifically Judges (a) Amado Roan of the City Court of
Manila, (b) Roman Cansino of the City Court of Manila, (c)
Hermogenes Caluag of the Court of First Instance of Rizal
(Quezon City Branch), (d) Eulogio Mencias of the Court of
First Instance of Rizal (Pasig Branch), and (e) Damian
Jimenez of the City Court of Quezon City (Footnote 2,
page 387) there is no definite showing that the fortytwo search warrants were for the searches and seizures of
properties outside the territorial jurisdiction of their
respective courts. The warrants were issued against the
petitioners and corporations of which they were officers
and some of the corporations enumerated in Footnote 7
have addresses in Manila and Makati. (pp. 388-89). Rizal
(which includes Makati) and Quezon City both belonged to
the Seventh Judicial District. That nobody challenged on
jurisdictional ground the issuance of these search warrants
is no argument in favor of the unlimited power of a court to
issue search warrants.
B. I have serious misgivings on the exception to the second
principle where another court may, because of extreme and
compelling circumstances, issue a search warrant in
connection with a criminal case pending in an appropriate
court. To illustrate this exception, the Municipal Trial
Court of Argao, Cebu, may validly issue a warrant for the
search of a house in Davao City and the seizure of any

property therein that may have been used in committing an

offense in Manila already the subject of an information
filed with the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila. I submit
that the exception violates the settled principle that even
in cases of concurrent jurisdiction, the first court which
acquires jurisdiction over the case acquires it to the
exclusion of the other. (People vs. Fernando, 23 SCRA 867,
870 [1968]). This being so, it is with more reason that a
court which does not have concurrent jurisdiction with the
first which had taken cognizance of the case does not also
have the authority to issue writs or processes, including
search warrants, in connection with the pending case.
Moreover, since the issuance of a search warrant is an
incident to a main case or is an exercise of the ancillary
jurisdiction of a court, the court where the main case is
filed has exclusive jurisdiction over all incidents thereto
and in the issuance of all writs and processes in connection
therewith. Furthermore, instead of serving the ends of
justice, the exception may provide room for unwarranted
abuse of the judicial process, wreak judicial havoc and
procedural complexities which effective law enforcement
apparently cannot justify. I cannot conceive of any
extreme and compelling circumstance which the court that
first acquired jurisdiction over the case cannot adequately
meet within its broad powers and authority.
In the light of the foregoing, and after re-examining my
original view in this case, I respectfully submit that:

1. Any court within whose territorial jurisdiction a crime

was committed may validly entertain an application for and
issue a search warrant in connection with said crime.
However, in the National Capital Judicial Region,
Administrative Circulars No. 13 of 1 October 1985, and No.
19 of 4 August 1987 must be observed.
2. After the criminal complaint or information is filed with
the appropriate court, search warrants in connection with
the crime charged may only be issued by said court.


Prior to August 6, 1984, petitioner AGUILAR-ROQUE was
one of the accused of Rebellion.
At 11:30 A.M. on August 6th, AGUILAR-ROQUE and
NOLASCO were arrested by a Constabulary Security
Group (CSG) at the intersection of Mayon Street and P.
Margall Street, Quezon City. The stated time is an
allegation of petitioners, not denied by respondents.
On August 6th, at around 9:00 A.M., Lt. Col. Virgilio G.
Saldajeno of the CSG, applied for a Search Warrant from
respondent Hon. Ernani Cruz Pao to be served at No. 239B Mayon Street, Quezon City, determined to be the leased
residence of AGUILAR-ROQUE, after almost a month of
"round the clock surveillance" of the premises as a
"suspected underground house of the CPP/NPA."

The Search Warrant (No. 80-84) describes the

personalities to be seized as follows: Documents, papers
and other records of the Communist Party of the
Phihppines/New Peoples Army and/or the National
Democratic Front, such as Minutes of the Party
Meetings, Plans of these groups, Programs, List of
possible supporters, subversive books and instructions,
manuals not otherwise available to the public, and
support money from foreign or local sources.
The searching party seized 428 documents and written
materials, and additionally a portable typewriter, and 2
wooden boxes, making 431 items in all.
On December 12th, petitioners filed a Motion to Suppress
in the SUBVERSIVE DOCUMENTS CASE, praying that
such of the 431 items belonging to them be returned to
them. It was claimed that the proceedings under the
Search Warrant were unlawful.
Issue: WON the search warrant is valid.
Held: The search warrant is not valid.
1. The foregoing Search Warrant authorizes the seizure
of personal properties vaguely described and not
particularized. It is an all- embracing description which
includes everything conceivable regarding the Communist
Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front.
It does not specify what the subversive books and
instructions are; what the manuals not otherwise available
to the public contain to make them subversive or to enable
them to be used for the crime of rebellion. There is absent

a definite guideline to the searching team as to what items

might be lawfully seized thus giving the officers of the law
discretion regarding what articles they should seize as, in
fact, taken also were a portable typewriter and 2 wooden
boxes. It is thus in the nature of a general warrant and
infringes on the constitutional mandate requiring particular
description of the things to be seized.
2. Notwithstanding the irregular issuance of the Search
Warrant and although, ordinarily, the articles seized under
an invalid search warrant should be returned, they cannot
be ordered returned in the case at bar to AGUILARROQUE. Some searches may be made without a warrant.
Thus, Section 12, Rule 126, Rules of Court, explicitly
provides: Section 12. Search without warrant of person
arrested.A person charged with an offense may be
searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be
used as proof of the commission of the offense.
The provision is declaratory in the sense that it is confined
to the search, without a search warrant, of a person who
had been arrested. It is also a general rule that, as an
incident of an arrest, the place or premises where the
arrest was made can also be search without a search
Considering that AGUILAR-ROQUE has been charged with
Rebellion, which is a crime against public order; that the
warrant for her arrest has not been served for a
considerable period of time; that she was arrested within
the general vicinity of her dwelling; and that the search of
her dwelling was made within a half hour of her arrest, we

are of the opinion that in her respect, the search at No.

239-B Mayon Street, Quezon City, did not need a search
warrant; this, for possible effective results in the interest
of public order.
WHEREFORE, while Search Warrant No. 80-84 issued on
August 6, 1984 by respondent Executive Judge Ernani Cruz
Pao is hereby annulled and set aside, and the Temporary
Restraining Order enjoining respondent from introducing
evidence obtained pursuant to the Search Warrant in the
Subversive Documents case hereby made permanent, the,
personalities seized may be retained by the Constabulary
Security Group for possible introduction as evidence in
Criminal Case No. SMC-1-1, pending before Special Military
commission No. 1, without prejudice to petitioner Mila
Aguilar-Roque objecting to their relevance and asking said
Commission to return to her any and all irrelevant
documents and articles.

CUEVAS [concurring and dissenting]
I fully agree with the pronouncement in the majority
opinion nullifying Search warrant No. 80-84 issued by the
Hon. Ernani Cruz Pao Executive Judge of the Regional
Trial Court of Quezon City which was served at 239B
Mayon St., Quezon City It does not specify with requisite
particularity the things, objects or properties that may be
seized hereunder. Being in the nature of a general warrant,
it violates the constitutional mandate that the place to be

searched and the persons or things to be seized, 'must be

particularly described.
I, however, regret being unable to concur with the dictum
justifying the said search on the basis of Sec. 12, Rule 126
of the Rules of Court which provides: SEC. 12. Search
without warrant of person arrested.A person charged
with an offense may be searched for dangerous weapons or
anything which may be used as proof of the commission of
the offense.
The lawful arrest being the sole justification for the
validity of the warrantless search under the aforequoted
provision (Sec. 12, Rule 126) the same must be limited to
and circumscribed by, the subject, time, and place of said
arrest. As to subject, the warrantless search is
sanctioned only with respect to the person of the suspect,
and things that may be seized from him are limited to
"dangerous weapons" or "anything which may be used as
proof of the commission of the offense.
With respect to the time and place of the warrantless
search allowed by law, it must be contemporaneous with
the lawful arrest. Stated otherwise, to be valid, the
search must have been conducted at about the time of the
arrest or immediately thereafter and only at the place
where the suspect was arrested.
In the instant case, petitioners were arrested at the
intersection of Mayon St. and P. Margall St. at 11:30 A.M.
of August 6. 1976. The search, on the other hand, was
conducted after the arrest, that was at around 12:00 noon
of the same day or "late that same day (as respondents

claim in their "COMMENT") at the residence of petitioner

AGUILAR-ROQUE in 239B Mayn St., Quezon City. How
far or how many kilometers is that place from the place
where petitioner was arrested do not appear shown by the
record. But what appears undisputed is that the search was
made in a place other than the place of arrest and, not on
the occasion of nor immediately after the arrest. It cannot
be said, therefore, that such a search was incidental to the
arrest of the petitioners. Not being an incident of a lawful
arrest, the search of the premises at 239B Mayon St.,
ILLEGAL and violative of the constitutional rights of the
respondent. The things and properties seized on the
of said
are therefore
INADMISSIBLE in evidence under the exclusionary rule.
However, not all the things so seized can be ordered
returned to their owners. Objects and properties the
possession of which is prohibited by law, cannot be
returned to their owners notwithstanding the illegality of
their seizure.

Alvarez case, 18 the applicant stated that his purpose for
applying for a search warrant was that: "It had been
reported to me by a person whom I consider to be reliable
that there are being kept in said premises books,
documents, receipts, lists, chits and other papers used by

him in connection with his activities as a money lender,

challenging usurious rate of interests, in violation of law."

180 SCRA 69
Facts: On 31 October 1987, P/Major Alladin Dimagmaliw,
Chief of the Intelligence Special Action Division (ISAD) of
the Western Police District (WPD) filed with the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 33, presided over by
respondent Judge Abelardo Dayrit, an application for the
issuance of a search warrant for VIOLATION OF PD NO.
1866 (Illegal Possession of Firearms, etc. In his application
for search warrant, P/Major Alladin Dimagmaliw alleged,
among others, as follows:
1. That he has been informed and has good and
sufficient reasons to believe that NEMESIO PRUDENTE
who may be found at the Polytechnic University of the
Philippines, Anonas St. Sta. Mesa, Sampaloc, Manila, has in
his control or possession firearms, explosives hand
grenades and ammunition which are illegally possessed or
intended to be used as the means of committing an offense
which the said NEMESIO PRUDENTE is keeping and
concealing at the following premises of the Polytechnic
University of the Philippines, to wit:

a. Offices of the Department of Military Science and

Tactics at the ground floor and other rooms at the ground
b. Office of the President, Dr. Nemesio Prudente at PUP,
Second Floor and other rooms at the second floor;
2. That the undersigned has verified the report and found
it to be a fact, and therefore, believes that a Search
Warrant should be issued to enable the undersigned or any
agent of the law to take possession and bring to this
Honorable Court the following described properties:
a. M 16 Armalites with ammunitions;
b. .38 and .45 Caliber handguns and pistols;
c. explosives and handgrenades; and,
d. assorted weapons with ammunitions.
In support of the application for issuance of search
warrant, P/Lt. Florenio C. Angeles, OIC of the Intelligence
Section of (ISAD) executed a "Deposition of Witness"
dated 31 October 1987: Some parts read:
Q: How do you know that said property is subject of the
offense of violation of Pres. Decree No. 1866 or intended
to be used as the means of committing an offense?
A: Sir, as a result of our continuous surveillance
conducted for several days, we gathered information
from verified sources that the holder of said firearms and
explosives as well as ammunitions aren't licensed to
possess said firearms and ammunition. Further, the
premises is a school and the holders of these firearms are

not students who were not supposed to possess firearms,

explosives and ammunition.
In his affidavit, dated 2 November 1987, Ricardo Abando y
Yusay, a member of the searching team, alleged that he
found in the drawer of a cabinet inside the wash room of
Dr. Prudente's office a bulging brown envelope with three
(3) live fragmentation hand grenades separately wrapped
with old newspapers, classified by P/Sgt. J.L. Cruz as
follows (a) one (1) pc.M33 Fragmentation hand grenade
(live); (b) one (11) pc.M26 Fragmentation hand grenade
(live); and (c) one (1) pc.PRB423 Fragmentation hand
grenade (live).
On 6 November 1987, petitioner moved to quash the
search warrant. He claimed that
(1) The complainant's lone witness, Lt. Florenio C. Angeles,
had no personal knowledge of the facts which formed the
basis for the issuance of the search warrant;
(2) The search warrant failed to charge one specific
1. WON the search warrant was based on probable
2. WON the search warrant is in connection with one
specific offense in not stating the specific section
of P.D. 1866.

1. No, the search warrant was not based on

probable cause; hence, it is not valid.
The "probable cause" for a valid search warrant, has been
defined "as such facts and circumstances which would lead
a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an
offense has been committed, and that objects sought in
connection with the offense are in the place sought to be
searched." This probable cause must be shown to be within
the personal knowledge of the complainant or the
witnesses he may produce and not based on mere hearsay.
In his application for search warrant, P/Major Alladin
Dimagmaliw stated that "he has been informed" that
Nemesio Prudente "has in his control and possession" the
firearms and explosives described therein, and that he
"has verified the report and found it to be a fact." On the
other hand, in his supporting deposition, P/Lt. Florenio C.
Angeles declared that, as a result of their continuous
surveillance for several days, they "gathered informations
from verified sources" that the holders of the said fire
arms and explosives are not licensed to possess them. In
other words, the applicant and his witness had no personal
knowledge of the facts and circumstances which became
the basis for issuing the questioned search warrant, but
acquired knowledge thereof only through information from
other sources or persons.
2. The search warrant satisfies the requirement
that it should be issued in connection with one
specific offense.

In the present case, however, the application for search

warrant was captioned: "For Violation of PD No. 1866
(Illegal Possession of Firearms, etc.). While the said
decree punishes several offenses, the alleged violation in
this case was, qualified by the phrase "illegal possession of
firearms, etc." As explained by respondent Judge, the
term "etc." referred to ammunitions and explosives. In
other words, the search warrant was issued for the
specific offense of illegal possession of firearms and
explosives. Hence, the failure of the search warrant to
mention the particular provision of PD No. 1866 that was

violated is not of such a gravity as to call for its

invalidation on this score. Besides, while illegal possession
of firearms is penalized under Section 1 of PD No. 1866
and illegal possession of explosives is penalized under
Section 3 thereof, it cannot be overlooked that said
decree is a codification of the various laws on illegal
possession of firearms, ammunitions and explosives; such
illegal possession of items destructive of life and property
are related offenses or belong to the same species, as to
be subsumed within the category of illegal possession of
firearms, etc. under P.D. No. 1866.