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CASE #35


G.R. No. 180661 December 11, 2013


Six Police Officers were conducting a police visibility patrol in Pasay City when they saw two
unidentified men rush out of a house and boarded a jeep. Suspecting a crime, they approached the
house which these two men came out from. Peeking through a partially opened door of the house,
the officers saw accused Antiquera and his live-in partner Corazon Cruz, engaged in a pot session.
The policemen entered the house, introduced themselves and arrested Antiquera and Cruz. While
inspecting the immediate vicinity, PO1 Cabutihan saw a jewelry box which contained Shabu and
unused drug paraphernalia. Accused disputed the story and claimed that he and his partner were
sleeping when the police officers knocked at his house.
The RTC rendered a decision finding them guilty of illegal possession of paraphernalia for dangerous
drugs which the CA affirmed.


Whether or not the arrest of the accused by the police officers was valid and considered as an arrest
in flagrante delicto considering that the door was only partially open


Section 5 (a), Rule 113 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that a peace officer or a private
person may, without a warrant, arrest a person when, in his presence, the person to be arrested has
committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense. This is what constitutes
an arrest in flagrante delicto, when an overt act constituting a crime is done in the presence or
within the view of the arresting officer. But the circumstances here do not make out a case of arrest
made in in flagrante delicto. The testimony of PO1 Cabutihan provides that the door was only open
approximately 4-6inches and that they had to push it to see what is inside because even as they
peeked through it, they saw no activity that warranted their entering it. Neither did they consider
securing first a search warrant before entering the property. No crime was plainly exposed to the
view of the arresting officers that authorized the arrest of accused without warrant.

Considering that his arrest was illegal, the search and seizure that resulted from it was likewise
illegal. Consequently, the various drug paraphernalia that the police officers allegedly found in the
house and seized are inadmissible, having proceeded from an invalid search and seizure. Since the
confiscated drug paraphernalia is the very corpus delicti of the crime charged, the Court has no
choice but to acquit accused. His failure to object to the irregularity of his arrest by itself is not
enough to sustain his conviction. A waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not carry with it a
waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during the illegal warrantless arrest.

The Supreme Court reversed and set aside the RTC and CA Decisions and ACQUITTED accused
Antiquera for lack of evidence sufficient to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.