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55.) Dela Cruz vs.

People NBI agents and when he reached the NBI office, he was required to extract
G.R. No. 200748 | July 23, 2014| Sereno, CJ urine for drug examination but he refused because he wanted it to be done
by the PNP crime lab not by the NBI. He also requested to be allowed to call
Topic: Rules of Admissibility; Real / Object and Demonstrative Evidence his lawyer prior to the taking of his urine sample. Both requests were denied.
 RTC – Ruled that petitioner is guilty for violating Sec 15, Art. II of RA 9165.
Doctrine/s: Further, the court held that the drug testing was merely a mechanical act,
thus falling outside the concept of a custodial investigation. Herein
“A “person apprehended or arrested" cannot literally mean any person apprehended petitioner filed an appeal, contending that the urine sample should not have
or arrested for any crime. The phrase must be read in context and understood in been admitted for lack of legal basis because of two factors: 1) He was not
consonance with R.A. 9165. Section 15 comprehends persons arrested or assisted by counsel and 2) He was held guilty notwithstanding the lack of
apprehended for unlawful acts listed under Article II of the law. To make the provision sufficient basis to convict him
applicable to all persons arrested or apprehended for any crime not listed under  CA – Affirmed RTC.
Article II is tantamount to unduly expanding its meaning. Note that accused appellant
here was arrested in the alleged act of extortion NOT violation of the Dangerous Issue:
Drugs Act.” (1) WoN the drug test conducted upon the petitioner is legal and, thus, is
admissible as evidence in court - No
“A waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not mean a waiver of the
inadmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest." Held:
 The drug test conducted upon petitioner is not grounded upon any existing
Facts: law or jurisprudence.
 Petitioner, Jaime Dela Cruz, was charged with violation of RA 9165  The ruling and reasoning of the trial court and the CA are erroneous. This is
(Dangerous Drugs Act) because person apprehended or arrested" cannot literally mean any person
 One morning, the agents and special investigators of the NBI received a apprehended or arrested for any crime. The phrase must be read in context
complaint from Corazon and Charito which claimed that at around 1am of and understood in consonance with R.A. 9165. Section 15 comprehends
the same day, the live in partner of Corazon, Ariel, was picked up by several persons arrested or apprehended for unlawful acts listed under Article II of
unknown male persons, who were believed to be police officers. Ariel was the law. To make the provision applicable to all persons arrested or
picked up for allegedly selling drugs. apprehended for any crime not listed under Article II is tantamount to
 An errand boy gave a number to the complainants and when the unduly expanding its meaning. Note that accused appellant here was
complainants called the number, they were instructed to proceed to the arrested in the alleged act of extortion NOT violation of the Dangerous Drugs
Gordo Police Office in Cebu City. In the said police office, they met “James” Act.
who demanded from them P100,000 which was eventually lowered to  In the case at bench, the presence of dangerous drugs was only in the form
P40,000 for the release of Ariel. of residue on the drug paraphernalia, and the accused were found positive
 After the event, the complainants proceeded to the NBI to file a complaint. for use of dangerous drugs. Granting that the arrest was legal, the evidence
 Special investigators at the NBI verified the text messages received by the obtained admissible, and the chain of custody intact, the law enforcers
complainants and a team was formed to execute an entrapment operation should have filed charges under Sec. 15, R.A. No. 9165 or for use of
which took place in a Jollibee branch nearby. During the entrapment dangerous drugs and, if there was no residue at all, they should have been
operation, the officers were able to nab herein petitioner, James Dela Cruz. charged under Sec. 14 (Possession of Equipment, Instrument, Apparatus and
 Herein petitioner was required to submit his urine for drug testing and it Other Paraphernalia for Dangerous Drugs During Parties, Social Gatherings
later yielded a positive result for presence of dangerous drugs as indicated or Meetings).
in the test result.  As regards the drug test and the non-testimonial compulsion, the court finds
 Please underline the most important set of facts that the drug test is not covered by allowable non-testimonial compulsion.
 The defense presented petitioner as the lone witness and denied the  We find that petitioner never raised the alleged irregularity of his arrest
charges. Further, petitioner claimed that he was arrested for extortion by before his arraignment and raises the issue only now before this tribunal;
hence, he is deemed to have waived his right to question the validity of his
arrest curing whatever defect may have attended his arrest. However, "a
waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not mean a waiver of the
inadmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest."
 The court is aware of the prohibition against testimonial compulsion and the
allowable exceptions to such proscription. Cases where non-testimonial
compulsion has been allowed reveal, however, that the pieces of evidence
obtained were all material to the principal cause of the arrest. In the instant
case, we fail to see how a urine sample could be material to the charge of
extortion.
 In a similar case, the court clarified that what the Constitution prohibits is
the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communication from the
accused, but not an inclusion of his body in evidence, when it may be
material (Gutang case) – but this is different from the case at hand as the
case in Gutang revolves around violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act and
the case at hand revolves around Extortion.

Dispositive Portion:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the assailed Decision dated 22 June 2011 issued
by the Twentieth Division, and the Resolution dated 2 February 2012 issued by the
former Twentieth Division of the Court of Appeals, in CA-G.R. C.R. No. 00670 are SET
ASIDE. Petitioner is hereby ACQUITTED.