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Umil vs.

FACTS: This consolidated case of 8 petitions for habeas corpus assails the validity
of the arrests and searches made by the military on the petitioners. The arrests
relied on the confidential information that the authorities received. Except for one
case where inciting to sedition was charged, the rest are charged with subversion
for being a member of the New Peoples Army.
RULING: The arrests were legal. Regarding the subversion cases, the arrests were
legal since subversion is a form of a continuing crime together with rebellion,
conspiracy or proposal to commit rebellion/subversion, and crimes committed in
furtherance thereof or in connection therewith. On the inciting to sedition case, the
arrest was legal since an information was filed prior to his arrest. Lastly, the arrests
were not fishing expeditions but a result of an in-depth surveillance of NPA safe
houses pinpointed by none other than members of the NPA.
The right to preliminary investigation should be exercised by the offender as soon
as possible. Otherwise, it would be considered as impliedly waived and the filing of
information can proceed. This sort of irregularity is not sufficient to set aside a valid
judgment upon a sufficient complaint and after a trial free from error.
DISSENT: (Sarmiento, J.) The confidential information was nothing but hearsay.
The searches and arrests made were bereft of probable cause and that the
petitioners were not caught in flagrante delicto or in any overt act. Utmost, the
authorities was lucky in their fishing expeditions.
2. The Bill of Rights can only be invoked only against the state. People vs.
Marti -- Marti and his wife went to the booth of the "Manila Packing and Export
Forwarders" carrying with them four (4) gift-wrapped packages. Marti informed the
owner that the packages simply contained books, cigars and gloves as gifts to his
friends in Zurich and refused to allow the owner to examine and inspect the
packages. However, before the delivery of the box to the Bureau of Customs, the
owner's husband inspected the package and found marijuana which was later
turned over to the NBI. A case was filed against Marti. Marti invoked his right
against illegal searches and seizure. Held: The constitutional proscription against
unlawful searches and seizures therefore applies as a restraint directed only against
the government and its agencies tasked with the enforcement of the law. Thus, it
could only be invoked against the State to whom the restraint against arbitrary and
unreasonable exercise of power is imposed.
Corollarily, alleged violations against unreasonable search and seizure may only be
invoked against the State by an individual unjustly traduced by the exercise of
sovereign authority. To agree with appellant that an act of a private individual in
violation of the Bill of Rights should also be construed as an act of the State would
result in serious legal complications and an absurd interpretation of the constitution

G.R. No. L-68955 September 4, 1986

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
RUBEN BURGOS y TITO, defendant-appellant.
Facts: Defendant is charged with illegal possession of firearm in furtherance of
subversion (tasks such as recruiting members to the NPA and collection of
contributions from its members) and found guilty by the RTC of Digos, Davao del
Sur. From the information filed by the police authorities upon the information given
by Masamlok, allegedly a man defendant tried to recruit into the NPA, the police
authorities arrest defendant and had his house searched. Subsequently, certain
NPA-related documents and a firearm, allegedly issued and used by one Alias Cmdr.
Pol of the NPA, are confiscated. Defendant denies being involved in any subversive
activities and claims that he has been tortured in order to accept ownership of
subject firearm and that his alleged extrajudicial statements have been made only
under fear, threat and intimidation on his person and his family. He avers that his
arrest is unlawful as it is done without valid warrant, that the trial court erred in
holding the search warrant in his house for the firearm lawful, and that the trial
court erred in holding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violation of PD 9 in
relation to GOs 6and 7.
Issue: If defendants arrest, the search of his home, and the subsequent confiscation
of a firearm and several NPA-related documents are lawful.
Held: Records disclose that when the police went to defendants house to arrest him
upon the information given by Masamlok, they had neither search nor arrest
warrant with themin wanton violation of ArtIV, Sec 3 (now Art III, sec 2). As the
Court held in Villanueva vs Querubin, the state, however powerful, doesnt
have access to a mans home, his haven of refuge where his individuality
can assert itself in his choice of welcome and in the kind of objects he
wants around him. In the traditional formulation, a mans house, however
humble, is his castle, and thus is outlawed any unwarranted intrusion by the
The trial court justified the warrantless arrest under Rule 113 Sec 6 of the RoC:

When the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is

about to commit an offense in his presence;
When an offense has in fact been committed, and he has reasonable ground to
believe that the person to be arrested has committed it;
When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal
establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined
while his case is pending or has escaped while being transferred from one
confinement to another
and the confiscation of the firearm under Rule 126, Sec 12:
A person charged with an offense may be searched for dangerous weapons or
anything which may be used as proof of the commission of the offense.
However, the trial court has erred in its conclusion that said warrantless arrest
is under the ambit of aforementioned RoC. At the time of defendants arrest, he
wasnt in actual possession of any firearm or subversive document, and was not
committing any subversive acthe was plowing his field. It is not enough that

there is reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has

committed a crime in a warrantless arrest. An essential precondition is
that a crime must have beenin fact or actually have been committed first;
it isnt enough to suspect a crime may have been committed. The test of
reasonable ground applies only to the identity of the perpetrator. The Court also
finds no compelling reason for the haste with which the arresting officers sought to
arrest the accused. We fail to see why they failed to first go through the process of
obtaining a warrant of arrest, if indeed they had reasonable ground to believe that
the accused had truly committed a crime. There is no showing that there was a real
apprehension that the accused was on the verge of flight or escape. Likewise, there
is no showing that the whereabouts of the accused were unknown.
In proving the ownership of the questioned firearm and alleged subversive
documents, assuming they were really illegal, the defendant was never informed of
his constitutional rights at the time of his arrest; thus the admissions obtained are in
violation of the constitutional right against self-incrimination under Sec 20 Art IV
(now Sec 12, Art III) and thus inadmissible as evidence.
Furthermore, the defendant was not accorded his constitutional right to be assisted
by counsel during the custodial interrogation. His extra-judicial confession, the
firearm, and the alleged subversive documents are all inadmissible as evidence. In
light of the aforementioned, defendant is acquitted on grounds of reasonable doubt
of the crime with which he has been charged. Subject firearm and alleged
subversive documents have been disposed of in accordance with law.
The Court also maintains that violations of human rights do not help in overcoming
a rebellion. Reiterating Morales vs Enrile, while the government should
continue to repel the communists, the subversives, the rebels, and the
lawless with the means at its command, it should always be remembered
that whatever action is taken must always be within the framework of our
Constitution and our laws.
Milo v. salanga
An information for Arbitrary Detention was filed against herein private respondent
(accused Barrio Captain Tuvera, Sr.) and some other private persons for maltreating
petitioner Valdez by hitting him with butts of their guns and fist blows. Immediately
thereafter, without legal grounds and with deliberate intent to deprive the latter of
his constitutional liberty, accused respondent and two members of the police force
of Mangsat conspired and helped one another in lodging and locking petitioner
inside the municipal jail of Manaoag, Pangasinan for about eleven (11) hours.
Accused-respondent then filed a motion to quash the information on the ground that
the facts charged do not constitute the elements of said crime and that the proofs
adduced at the investigation are not sufficient to support the filing of the
information. Petitioner Asst. Provincial Fiscal Milo filed an opposition thereto.
Consequently, averring that accused-respondent was not a public officer who can be
charged with Arbitrary Detention, respondent Judge Salanga granted the motion to
quash in an order. Hence, this petition.

Whether or not accused-respondent, being a Barrio Captain, can be liable for the
crime of Arbitrary Detention.
Yes. The public officers liable for Arbitrary Detention must be vested with authority
to detain or order the detention of persons accused of a crime. One need not be a
police officer to be chargeable with Arbitrary Detention. It is accepted that other
public officers like judges and mayors, who act with abuse of their functions, may be
guilty of this crime. A perusal of the powers and function vested in mayors would
show that they are similar to those of a barrio captain except that in the case of the
latter, his territorial jurisdiction is smaller. Having the same duty of maintaining
peace and order, both must be and are given the authority to detain or order
detention. Noteworthy is the fact that even private respondent Tuvera himself
admitted that with the aid of his rural police, he as a barrio captain, could have led
the arrest of petitioner Valdez.


Facts:Private offended parties Elpidio Simon, Moises de la Cruz, WenefredoManiscan,
Renato Militante,CrisantoPelias, SPO3 Andres B. Cinco, Kr. and SPO1 RufoCapoquian,
members of DENR RegionalOperations Group, were sent to Western Samar to
conduct possible illegal logging activities.Upon investigation of the group,
Mayor Benito Astorga was found to be the owner of two (2) boats. A heated
altercation ensued and Mayor Astorga called for reinforcements. Ten armed
menarrived in the scene. The off ended parties were then brought to Mayor
Astogas house wherethey had dinner and drinks and left at 2:30am. SPO1
Capoquian further admitted that it was raining during the time of their
detention.Mayor Astorga was convicted of arbitrary detention by the
Issue:Whether Mayor Astorga is guilty of arbitrary detention.
Held:No. The elements of arbitrary detention are as follows:1. That the offender is a
public officer or employee.2. That he detains a person.3. That the detention is without
legal ground.The determinative factor in arbitrary detention is fear. The
Court found no proof that Astorgainstilled fear in the minds of the offended
parties. There was also no actual restraint imposed onthe off ended parties. The
events that transpired created reasonable doubt and are capable of other
interpretations. Mayor Astorga could have extended his hospitality and served
dinner anddrinks to the offended parties. He could have advised them to stay in the
island inasmuch as seatravel was rendered unsafe by the heavy rains.
Astorga even ate and served alcoholic drinks during dinner. The guilt of the
accused has not been proven with moral certainty. Astorga wasacquitted