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PART TWO SEARCH AND SEIZURE (RULE 126)

A. Article III Section 2 and 3 of the 1987 Constitution

Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches
and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall
issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of
the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons
or things to be seized.
Section 3. (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court,
or when public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law.
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any
proceeding.

Rule 126
Section 1 SEARCH WARRANT DEFINED
1. Is an order in writing
2. Issued in the name of the People of the Philippines
3. Signed by the judge
4. Directed to a peace officer, commanding him to search for personal property described therein and bring it before the
court
Section 13 SEARCH INCIDENT TO LAWFUL ARREST
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.

Exclusionary Rule
1. Stonehill vs. Diokno 1967
Facts: 42 search warrants were issued against the petitioners and/of the corporation of which they were officers. The
warrant appears to be a general warrant as petitioners assail that it does not contain particularity (all business transactions,
receipts, financial records etc). Respondents contend that the warrants were issued in accordance with the law and even
if its not, the effects seized are admissible evidence against petitioners.
Issue: WoN the effects seized may be used as evidence
Ruling: No. Two points must be stressed in connection with this constitutional mandate, namely: (1) that no warrant shall
issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge in the manner set forth in said provision; and (2) that the
warrant shall particularly describe the things to be seized. To uphold the validity of the warrants in question would be to
wipe out completely one of the most fundamental rights guaranteed in our Constitution, for it would place the sanctity of the
domicile and the privacy of communication and correspondence at the mercy of the whims caprice or passion of peace
officers. This is precisely the evil sought to be remedied by the constitutional provision above quoted to outlaw the so-
called general warrants.

2. People vs. Valdez 2000


Facts: Valdez was accused of growing marijuana plants. Based on the alleged tip received by the police officers, they went
to the site on the following day, uprooted the plants and arrested Valdez. The latter contends that there was unlawful search
for the law enforces had more ample time to secure a search warrant.
Issue: WoN the search and seizure is lawful
Ruling: No. There was no search warrant issued by the judge after a personal determination of the existence of probable
cause. From the declaration of the police officers, it is clear that they had at least one day to obtain a warrant, but did not.
Evidence procured on the occasion of an unreasonable search and seizure is deemed tainted for being the proverbial fruit
of a poisonous tree and should be inadmissible.

People not places


1. Polo vs. David
Facts: A letter was sent to respondent alleging anomaly in the office of petitioner so the former issued an investigation and
summed up all the back-up files of the petitioner. The latter assailed the charge against him of RA 6713 without basis which
proceeded from an illegal search.
Issue: WoN the search conducted by the CSC officials is a violation of petitioners constitutional right to privacy
Ruling: No. The petitioner failed to prove that he had an actual expectation of privacy in his office of government issued
computer. The search on his computer files was conducted in connection with investigation of work-related misconduct. A
search by a government employer of an employees office is justified at inception when there are reasonable grounds for
suspecting that it will turn up evidence that the employee is guilty of work-related misconduct. Public employees expectation
of privacy may be reduced by virtue of actual office practices and procedures.
Private Searches
Governmental interference
1. People vs. Marti
Facts: Marti went to the booth of Manila Packing and Export Forwarders with 4 gift wrapped packages saying that he was
sending the packages to Switzerland. He refused to open the box, assuring the it only contains cigars, books and gloves.
Before delivery to the Bureau of Customs, Job Reyes opened the box for final inspection and a peculiar odor emitted
therefrom so he reported to NBI. In the presence of the NBI agents, he opened the box and dried marijuana leaves were
found.
Issue: WoN an act of private individual may be invoked against the State
Ruling: No. In the absence of governmental interference, the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be invoked
against the State. Said inspection was reasonable as a standard operating procedure on the part of Mr. Reyes as a
precautionary measure before the delivery of a package to the Bureau of Customs. The objects seized was discovered and
obtained by a private person in his own capacity without intervention of state authorities.

Vessel Security Officer


1. People vs. Bongcarawan
Facts: An inter-island passenger shil sailed from Manila to Iligan City. The vessel was about to dock when the security
officer received a complaint from a passenger about her missing jewelry. Accused Bongcorowan consented to a bodily
search but no jewelry was found, he also consented to search his baggage where the security officer found shabu.
Issue: WoN the search conducted by vessel security officer is a valid search
Ruling: Yes. The baggage of the accused was searched by the vessel security personnel. It was only after the shabu was
found when the Philippine Coast Guard intervened. The search and seizure was therefore carried out without government
intervention.

Spousal or Privacy Communications Exception


1. Zulueta vs. CA
Facts: Petitioner entered the clinic of her husband, forcibly opened the drawers and cabinet consisting of private
respondents correspondence and his alleged paramours. The documents and papers seized were used as evidence in a
case of legal separation and for disqualification from the practice of medicine.
Issue: WoN the documents seized were inadmissible
Ruling: Yes. The only exception to the prohibition in the Constitution is if there is a lawful order [from a] court or when public
safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law. 4 Any violation of this provision renders the evidence obtained
inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. The intimacies between husband and wife do not justify any one of them
in breaking the drawers and cabinets of the other and in ransacking them for any telltale evidence of marital infidelity. The
law insures absolute freedom of communication between the spouses by making it privileged. Neither husband nor wife
may testify for or against the other without the consent of the affected spouse while the marriage subsists. 6 Neither may be
examined without the consent of the other as to any communication received in confidence by one from the other during
the marriage, save for specified exceptions.

B. Constitutional and statutory boundaries; limitation on State action

Nature of protected right persons, houses, papers and effects


Waiver of protected right
1. A right exist
2. Person has a knowledge of such right
3. Intention to relinquish the right

1. Villanueva vs. Querubin


Facts: Residence of the petitioner was raided by a constabulary and police team on the strength of a search warrant.
Petitioner contends that there was a violation of his constitutional rights not to be deprived of property without due process
of law and to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
Issue: WoN there was a violation of the safeguard against unreasonable search and seizure
Ruling: No.The constitutional right refers to the immunity of one's person, whether citizen or alien, from interference by
government, included in which is his residence, his papers, and other possessions. Since, moreover, it is invariably through
a search and seizure that such an invasion of one's physical freedom manifests itself, it is made clear that he is not to be
thus molested, unless its reasonableness could be shown. To be impressed with such a quality, it must be accomplished
through a warrant. The very constitutional guarantee relied upon does not preclude a search in one's home and the seizure
of one's papers and effects as long as the element of reasonableness is not lacking.

2. Guanzon vs. De Villa


Facts: Petitioners sought to prohibit the military and police officer from conducting Areal Target Zonings or Saturation
Drives in Metro Manila contending that such was unconstitutional for there is no specific target house to be searched and
no search warrant served. That the policemen would rudely rouse them from sleep banging on the walls and windows,
point high-powered guns, homes were ransacked, valuables would disappear etc
Issue: WoN it constitutes violation of the constitutional rights
Ruling: Yes. It is not the police action per se which should be prohibited rather it is the procedure used or methods which
offend even hardened sensibilities. It appears to have been no impediment to securing warrants or warrants of arrest
before any houses were searched or individuals roused from sleep were arrested. Where violation of human right
specifically guaranteed by the Constitution is involved, it is the duty of the court to stop transgression.

2.Scope of Protection Letters, messages, telegrams and the like

1. Burgos vs. Chief of Staff


Facts: Allegedly, Burgos is in possession or has in his control printing equipment and other paraphernalia, news
publications and other documents which were used and are all continuously being used as a means of committing the
offense of subversion. Judge issued 2 search warrants.
Issue: WoN the allegations of possession and printing subversive materials may be the basis of the issuance of search
warrants
Ruling: No. Such allegation does not satisfy the requirement of a probable cause which shall be determined by the judge
after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce and particularly
describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

Airport Searches
1. People v. Canton
Facts: While passing thru a metal detector booth at NAIA, a beeping sound was emitted. A civilian employee then fisked
Canton and felt something bulging at her abdominal area. Upon the instruction of SPO4 Reyes, the officers brought
Canton to the restroom for a thorough physical search where after frisking her, she voluntarily handed the package to the
officers. It was found that it was a shabu.
Issue: WoN the scope of search pursuant to airport security is confined only to search weapons under the Terry Doctrine
Ruling: No. The search was made pursuant to routine airport security procedure. Passengers are also subject to search
for prohibited materials or substances, unlike in Terry search which is limited to weapons. The strip search in the ladies
room was justified under the circumstances.

REPUBLIC ACT No. 4200 - AN ACT TO PROHIBIT AND PENALIZE WIRE TAPPING AND OTHER RELATED
VIOLATIONS OF THE PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Section 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or
spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or
record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or
dictaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder, or however otherwise described:

It shall also be unlawful for any person, be he a participant or not in the act or acts penalized in the next preceding
sentence, to knowingly possess any tape record, wire record, disc record, or any other such record, or copies thereof, of
any communication or spoken word secured either before or after the effective date of this Act in the manner prohibited by
this law; or to replay the same for any other person or persons; or to communicate the contents thereof, either verbally or
in writing, or to furnish transcriptions thereof, whether complete or partial, to any other person: Provided, That the use of
such record or any copies thereof as evidence in any civil, criminal investigation or trial of offenses mentioned in section 3
hereof, shall not be covered by this prohibition.

1. Gaanan vs. IAC


Facts: Atty. Tito Pintor and his client were in the living room of complainant's residence discussing the terms for the
withdrawal of the complaint for direct assault which they filed against Laconico. After they had decided on the proposed
conditions, complainant made a telephone call to Laconico who then requested appellant to secretly listen to the
telephone conversation through a telephone extension so as to hear personally the proposed conditions for the
settlement. Appellant executed on the following day an affidavit stating that he heard complainant demand P8,000.00 for
the withdrawal of the case for direct assault. Laconico attached the affidavit of appellant to the complainant for
robbery/extortion which he filed against complainant. Since appellant listened to the telephone conversation without
complainant's consent, complainant charged appellant and Laconico with violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Act.
Issue: 1) WoN the telephone conversation between the complainant and accused Laconico was private in nature
2) WoN an extension telephone is covered by the term "device or arrangement" under Rep. Act No. 4200
Ruling: There is no question that the telephone conversation between complainant Atty. Pintor and accused Atty.
Laconico was "private" in the sense that the words uttered were made between one person and another as distinguished
from words between a speaker and a public. It is also undisputed that only one of the parties gave the petitioner the
authority to listen to and overhear the caller's message with the use of an extension telephone line. However, an
extension telephone cannot be placed in the same category as a dictaphone, dictagraph or the other devices enumerated
in Section 1 of RA No. 4200 as the use thereof cannot be considered as "tapping" the wire or cable of a telephone line.
The telephone extension in this case was not installed for that purpose. It just happened to be there for ordinary office
use. The mere act of listening, in order to be punishable must strictly be with the use of the enumerated devices in RA No.
4200 or others of similar nature. We are of the view that an extension telephone is not among such devices or
arrangements.