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FIRST DIVISION

DECISION

cts against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose.1 A mere tip from an unnamed informant
without a warrant, the Court finds that the constitutionally-protected right against unreasonable searches and seizures was violated

n2 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR No. 30457 which affirmed the October 25, 2006 Judgment3 of the Regional Trial Co
otherwise known as "An Act Increasing the Penalties for Illegal Numbers Games Amending Certain Provisions of PD 1602 and fo
aobra) was convicted as a coordinator, controller, or supervisor under Section 3(d) of the said Jaw. The RTC sentenced Villamor
(1) day as minimum to eleven (11) years as maximum.

al numbers game locally known as "lotteng' and possessing a list of various numbers, a calculator, a cellphone, and cash. The cha

nce of Catanduanes, Philippines, \vi thin the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court the said accused with intent [to] gain thru illegal m
of various numbers and money and lotteng paraphernalias.

ted as follows:

vince of Catanduanes, Philippines, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court the said accused with intent [to] gain thru illegal m
e, list of various numbers and cash in the amount of ₱1,500.00 representing collection of bets.
uently, the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor issued separate Resolutions both dated September 13, 2005 amending the Informa

tor in an illegal numbers game. The Amended Information6 provides:

vince of Catanduanes, Philippines, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court the said accused acting as a collector with intent
cellphone, [list] of various numbers and money and lotteng paraphernalias.

riminatory paragraph of which states:

vince of Catanduanes, Philippines, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court the said accused acting as manager and operato
a, such as [a] calculator, cellphone, lists of variott5 numbers and cash in the amount of ₱l,500,00 representing colleciion of bets.

aded not guilty to the respective charges filed against them. After the pre-trial conference, a joint trial on the merits followed.

Version of the Prosecution

e Superintendent Francisco Penaflor (PD Peñaflor), SP04 Severino Malasa, Jr., and POI David Adrian Saraspi (POI Saraspi). Cu

g illegal numbers game at Barangay Francia, Virac, Catanduanes, specifically at the residence of Bonaobra. A team composed o

boo slats installed two inches apart which allowed them to see the goings on inside. According to the police officers, they saw pe
money bets.

ed the items found on the table consisting of cash amounting to ₱l,500.00 in different denominations, the "papelitos," a calculator,
the Provincial Prosecutor.

Version of the Defense

aobra, Florencio Bonaobra (Florencio), the father of Bonaobra, Juan Vargas, and Jonah Bonaobra (Jonah), the wife of Bonaobra.

atter's wife, Jonah. At that time, Bonaobra was having coffee with his father Florencio inside their house. Villamor gave Bonaobra
aobra's house, grabbed Bonaobra's right arm, and said, "Caught in the act ka!" Florencio went outside and asked PD Peñaflor if h

s guilty beyond reasonable doubt of committing illegal numbers game locally known as ''lotteng," a variant of the game Last Two,8

n flagrante delicto committing an illegal numbers game locally known as "lotteng," a variant of Last Two. The RTC held that petitio
ws of two-number combinations. Since the winning combination in "lotteng" is taken from the first two numbers of the winning com

he brought bet money to Bonaobra while the latter was that of a coordinator, controller, or supervisor after it was shown that he re
r to suffer a penalty of imprisonment from eight (8) years and one (1) day as minimum to nine (9) years as maximum, and Victor
g paraphernalia, like the calculator, ballpen and cellular phone are confiscated in favor of the state.

Ruling of the Court of Appeals

his right to due process was violated when he was convicted of a crime different from that with which he was charged. The CA he
ator will not be violative of his right to be informed of the nature and cause of his accusation since the graver offense of acting as

who were presumed to have acted regularly in the performance of their official functions. The CA held that Villamor' s denials can

Issue

ent under Section 3(c) for Villamor, and as coordinator, controller, or supervisor m1der Section 3(d) for Bonaobra, should be uphe

Our Ruling

orrect errors, though unassigned in the appealed judgment, or even reverse the trial court's decision [based on] x x x grounds othe

y the arresting officers when they barged into Bonaobra's compound without a valid warrant of arrest or a search warrant. While t
he same having been obtained in violation of the said right.

cause before a search and an arrest may be effected by law enforcement agents. Without the said warrant, a search or seizure b
ding.13"Evidence obtained and confiscated on the occasion of such an unreasonable search and seizure is tainted and should be e

he act of committing an offense. PD Peñaflor and his team of police officers claim that petitioners were committing the offense of

of arrest in the following instances:

rrest a person:

tempting to commit an offense;

on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and

lace where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred

h delivered to the nearest police station or jail and shall be proceeded against in accordance with Section 7 of Rule 112.
e person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to

st on petitioners. It was not properly established that petitioners had just committed, or were actually committing, or attempting to
1âw phi 1

oners. PO 1 Saraspi's testimony during cross examination reveals the following:

and Victor Bonaobra?

e?

when we alighted from the Frontier we saw what was inside the compound.
ernalia you went inside, is that right?

on of the illegal gambling paraphernalia?

d I saw the calculator, the money bets.

araphernalia?
ding, will you consider those as gambling paraphernalia?16

e Court finds it doubtful that the police officers were able to determine that a c1iminal activity was ongoing to allow them to validly
ght, which made it harder to see what was happening inside the compound. It appears that the police officers acted based solely
Court finds it doubtful that the police officers witnessed any overt act before entering the private home of Bonaobra immediately
ey on the table, he readily concluded the same to be gambling paraphernalias.

determine the activities of the persons inside. It was only after he had illegally entered the compound, since he was not armed w

e where you parked your vehicle when you arrived in the vicinity?

to that place where there is an on-going 'revisar' of 'lotteng', more or less 15 to 20 meters, I believe, from the gate.

me, Mt. Witness?

flor barged into his compound and arrested him. The relevant portions of his testimony reveals the following:

I was surprised when the police whom I could not identify, kicked the door.

xxxx

xxxx
he utterance made by your father whether they had a warrant?

g that the petitioners were actually committing a crime. While PD Peñaflor claims that he caught the petitioners in the act of collect

ecution, through Prosecutor Tañon, even admitted this fact during Jonah's direct examination. The following exchange between th

fe of Victor Bonaobra; that at around 8:30 a.m. of June 17, 2005 she was inside their residence at Bonaobra's compound, Francia
particular lime and date and such other matters relative thereto, Your Honor.

s inside the residence of Bonaobra's compound; that accused Martin Villamor arrived to pay his debt. We are to contest on that sh

y?

to pay his loan to Jonah. Thus, at the exact moment of the arrest, neither Bonaobra, who was answering his cellphone, nor Villar

satisfy the requirements of an in flagrante delicto arrest. Consequently, the search and seizure of the effects found inside the hous
e.

rraignment. Failure to do so constitutes a waiver of the right to question the legality of the arrest especially when the accused acti
People v. Racho,20 the Court held that:

admissible in evidence consonant with Article III, Section 3(2) of the 1987 Constitution, 'any evidence obtained in violation of this

ce. Thus, an acquittal is warranted, despite the waiver of appellant of his right to question the illegality of his arrest by entering a p
oes not carry with it a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest. (Emphasis supplied)

g as a collector or an agent under Section 3(c), and as a coordinator, controller, or supervisor under Section 3(d), of RA 9287. Un
n the other hand, a coordinator, controller, or supervisor is defined as, ''any person who exercises control and supervision over th
.

was obtained in violation of Section 3(2), Article III of the 1987 Constitution. Since the alleged illegal gambling paraphernalia is th

ed the Judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Virac, Catanduanes, Branch 43 in Criminal Case Nos. 3463 and 3464 is hereby R
any other lawful cause.

Court the action taken hereon within five days from receipt.

MARIA LOURDES P.A. SERENO


Chief Justice
Chairperson

TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO BIENVENIDO L. REYES*


Associate Justice Associate Justice

ALFREDO BENJAMIN S. CAGUIOA


Associate Justice

CERTIFICATION

on had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.
ciate Justices Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr. and Manuel M. Barrios.

of the first prize of the winning Sweepstakes ticket which comes out during the weekly draw of the Philippine Charity Sweepstake

for any purpose in any proceeding.


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