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104) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v ANDRE MARTI 1. The present constitutional provision on the guarantee against unreasonable
Bidin, J. | Government Interference search and seizure had its origin in the 1935 charter, which was derived from
the Fourth Amendment. Thus, in a number of cases, the court strictly adhered
ISSUE/S: WoN the evidence subject of the offense has been obtained in violation of to the exclusionary rule (laid down in Mapp v Ohio) and has struck down the
constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure & privacy of admissibility of evidence obtained in violation of the constitutional safeguard
communication? NO. against unreasonable searches and seizures. However, in all those cases, the
evidence so obtained were invariably procured by the State acting through the
FACTS: medium of its law enforcers or other authorized government agencies.
Aug. 14, 1957: Andre Marti and his common-law wife, Sherley Reyes, went to 2. In the case at bar, however, the evidence sought to be excluded was primarily
the booth of the Manila Packing and Export Forwarders, carrying with them discovered and obtained by a private person, acting in a private capacity and
4 gift wrapped packages. He informed Anita Reyes, the proprietress of said without the intervention and participation of State authorities.
booth, that he was sending packages to a friend (Walter Fierz) in Zurich, 3. In the absence of governmental interference, the liberties guaranteed by the
Switzerland. Constitution cannot be invoked against the State. This constitutional right
Anita Reyes asked if she could examine the packages but Marti assured her refers to the immunity of one's person, whether citizen or alien, from
that the packages contained only books, cigars, gloves that were meant as interference by government. Thus, the state does not have access so any
gifts to his friend in Zurich. Thus, Anita no longer insisted in inspecting the unwarranted intrusion by government is outlawed (Villanueva v Querubin).
same. 4. The search of which appellant complains, however, was made by a private
Before delivery of the box to the Bureau of Customs, the proprietor Job Reyes citizen the owner of a motel in which appellant stayed overnight and in
opened the box for final inspection as per SOP. A peculiar odor emitted from which he left behind a travel case containing the evidence complained of. The
the box and he managed to feel dried leaves inside which he reported to the search was made on the motel owner's own initiative. The fourth amendment
NBI, requesting for a laboratory examination of the samples he extracted from and the case law applying it do not require exclusion of evidence obtained
the cellophane wrapper. through a search by a private citizen. Rather, the amendment only proscribes
governmental action (Bernas v US).
Dried marijuana leaves were found to be contained inside the cellophane
5. The evidence having come into possession of the government wuthout the
wrappers. Thus, the NBI agents made an inventory and took charge of the
latter transgressing Marti's right, there is no reason why it should not be
contents, after signing a receipt acknowledging custody of said effects.
admitted against him in the prosecution of the offense charged.
The NBI agents tried to locate Marti but as his stated address in his passport
a. First, facts of the case show that the NBI agents made no search
was the Manila Central Post Office, they required assistance from the latter's
and seizure, much less an illegal one. It was Job Reyes who made
Chief Security. Thus, on Aug. 27, 1987, Marti, while claiming his mail at the
the inspection.
Central Post Office, was invited by the NBI to shed light on the attempted
b. Second, the mere presence of the NBI agents did not convert the
shipment of the seized dried leaves. On the same day the Narcotics Section
reasonable search effected by Reyes into a warrantless search and
of the NBI submitted the dried leaves to the Forensic Chemistry Section for
seizure proscribed by the Constitution. Where the contraband
laboratory examination. It turned out that the dried leaves were marijuana
articles are identified without a trespass on the part of the arresting
flowering tops as certified by the forensic chemist.
officer, there is not the search that is prohibited by the constitution.
An information was filed against Marti for violation of Sec. 21(b), Article IV in 6. Bernas: The Bill of Rights governs the relationship between the individual and
relation to Sec. 4, Art. 11 & Sec. 2(e)(i), Art. 1 of RA 6425 (Dangerous Drugs the state. Its concern is not the relation between individuals, between a private
Act). The Special Criminal Court (RTC) convicted Marti. individual and other individuals. What the Bill of Rights does is to declare some
Marti contends the evidence subject of the imputed offense had been obtained forbidden zones in the private sphere inaccessible to any power holder.
in violation of his constitutional rights against unreasonable search and 7. The constitutional proscription against unlawful searches and seizures
seizure and privacy of communication (Sec. 2 and 3, Art. III, Constitution) and therefore applies as a restraint directed only against the government and its
therefore argues that the same should be held inadmissible in evidence (Sec. agencies tasked with the enforcement of the law. Thus, it could only be
3 (2), Art. III). Also, as the 1935 Constitution has been modified by the 1987 invoked against the State to whom the restraint against arbitrary and
one, it matters not whether the evidence was procured by police authorities or unreasonable exercise of power is imposed.
private individuals. 8. 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,
HELD: 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
9. Furthermore, the modifications introduced in the 1987 Constitution deviate in
no manner as to whom the restriction or inhibition against unreasonable
search and seizure is directed against. Corollarily, alleged violations against
unreasonable search and seizure may only be invoked against the State by
an individual unjustly traduced by the exercise of sovereign authority. To
agree with appellant that an act of a private individual in violation of the Bill of
Rights should also be construed as an act of the State would result in serious
legal complications.