Anda di halaman 1dari 2

Caballes v. CA Facts: - Sgt. Victorino Noceja and Pat.

Alex de Castro spotted a passenger jeepney unsually covered with kakawati leaves while on a routine patrol (Pagsanjan, Laguna) - The two officers flagged down the vehicle, suspecting that the jeep was loaded with smuggled goods - Caballes as the driver of the jeep was asked about the loaded cargo. He was not able to respond, and even appeared pale and nervous - The two checked the jeepney and found bundles of galvanized conductor wires exclusively owned by the National Power Corporation - Caballes and the jeepney were brought to the Pagsanjan Police Station, where Caballes was imprisoned for 7 days - TC found him guilty of theft - CA affirmed his conviction Issue: W/N the evidence taken from the warrantless search of vehicle is admissible against Caballes Held: No, the evidence is not admissible. The constitutional proscription against warrantless searches and seizures is not absolute, but admits of certain exceptions. The situation in the case at bar does not fall under any of the accepted exceptions.1. 1. Search of a moving vehicle. The rules governing searches and seizures of moving vehicles have been liberalized for the purposes of practicality. Obtaining a warrant for a moving vehicle is particularly difficult for want of a specific description of the place, things, and persons to be searches. Also, it is not practicable to secure a warrant because the vehicle can be quickly moved out of the jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought. Still, however, there must be probable cause to conduct such warrantless search. One form of search of moving vehicles is the stop-and-search without warrant at checkpoints, which has been declared as not illegal per se, for as long as it is warranted by the exigencies of public order and conducted in a way least intrusive to motorists. A checkpoint may either be a mere routine inspection or it may involve an extensive search. Routine inspections are not regarded as violative of an individuals right against unreasonable search. The circumstances in this case, however, do not constitute a routine inspection. They had to reach inside the vehicle, lift the leaves and look inside the sacks before they were able to see the cable wires. When a vehicle is stopped and subjected to an extensive search, such a search would be constitutionally permissible only if the officers have probable cause to believe that either the motorist is a law-offender or they will find the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to a crime in the vehicle to be searched. In this case, the officers flagged down the jeep because they became suspicious when they saw that the back of the vehicle was covered with kakawati leaves, which, to them, was unusual and uncommon. The Court believes that the fact that the vehicle looked suspicious simply because it is not common for such to be covered in kakawati leaves does not constitute probable cause to justify a search

without a warrant. In addition, there was no tip or confidential information that could have backed up their search, as jurisprudence is replete with cases wheretipped information has become sufficient to constitute probable cause. 2. Plain view doctrine. It is clear from the records that the cable wires were not exposed to sight because they were placed in sacks and covered with leaves. They had no clue as to what was underneath the leaves. Object was not in plain view which could have justified mere seizure without further search. 3. Consented search. At most, there was only implied acquiescence, a mere passive conformity, which is no consent at all within the purview of the constitutional guarantee. Evidence is lacking that Caballes intentionally surrendered his right against unreasonable searches. CABALLES is ACQUITTED.