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Section 13, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court and some cases decided by the Supreme Court

provide the instances when search is lawful without search warrant:

1. In times of war within the area of military operation.
(People v. de Gracia, 233 SCRA 716, Guanzon v. de Villa, 181 SCRA 623)
2. As an incident of a lawful arrest.

Section 13, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court states that a person lawfully arrested may be
searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may have been used or constitute proof
in the commission of an offense without a search warrant.

Requisites: a) arrest must be lawful; b) search and seizure must be contemporaneous with
arrest; c) search must be within permissible area (People v. Estella, G.R. Nos. 138539 40,
January 21, 2003)
3. When there are prohibited articles open to the eye and hand of an officer (Plain
View Doctrine).

The plain view doctrine is usually applied where the police officer is not searching for
evidence against the accused, but nonetheless inadvertently comes upon an
incriminationatory object (People v. Musa, 217 SCRA 597).

Requisites: a) a prior valid intrusion based on the valid warrantless arrest in which the
police are legally present in the pursuit of their official duties; 2) the evidence was
accidentally discovered by the police who have the right to be where they are; c) the
evidence must be immediately visible; and d) plain view justified the seizure of the
evidence without any further search (People v. Sarap, G.R. No. 132165, March 26, 2003).
4. When there is consent which is voluntary (consented search)
Requisites: a) there is a right; b) there must be knowledge of the existence of such right;
and c) there must be intention to waive (De Gracia v. Locsin, 65 Phil 689).
5. When it is incident to a lawful inspection.
Example of this kind of search is the searches of passengers at airports, ports or bus
terminals. Republic Act 6235 provides that luggage and baggage of airline passengers shall
be subject to search
6. Under the Tariff and Customs Code for purposes of enforcing the customs and
tariff laws;
The purpose is to prevent violations of smuggling or immigration laws.
7. Searches and seizures of vessels and aircraft; this extends to the warrantless
search of motor vehicle for contraband.
Examples of this is the seizure without warrant of a fishing vessel found to be violating
fishery laws and the stop and search without a warrant at military or police checkpoints
which are legal. Warrantless search and seizure in these instances are justified on the
ground that it is not practicable to secure a warrant because the vehicles, vessels, or
aircrafts can be moved quickly out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant may be
8. When there is a valid reason to stop and frisk.
Stop and frisk is defined as the particular designation of the right of a police officer to
stop a citizen on the street, interrogate him and pat him for weapons whenever he observes
unusual conduct which leads him to conclude that criminal activity may be afoot (Terry v.

Requisites: a) that there is a person who manifests unusual and suspicious conduct; b) that
the police officer should properly introduce himself and make initial inquiries; c) that the
police officer approached and restrained the person in order to check the latters outer
clothing for possibly concealed weapon; and d) that the apprehending officer must have a
genuine reason to warrant the belief that the person to be held has weapon or contraband
concealed about him People v. Sy Chua, G.R. Nos. 136066 67, February 4, 2003)