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People v.

CFI Carol doctrine An undisclosed informer told the Regional Anti-Smuggling Action Center

(RASAC) that a shipment of highly dutiable goods was being shipped to Manila from
Angeles City on a blue Dodge car. RASAC Agents Manuel and Sabado, upon the order of
Col. Abad, Jr. (Chief of Intelligence and Operations Branch), stationed themselves in the toll
gate of the North Diversion Road at Balintawak, Quezon City to await for such car.
A light blue Dodge car (Plate No. 21-87-73), after giving the toll receipt, sped away towards Manila. The car
was driven by Sgt. Jessie Hope and was accompanied by Monina Medina. The RASAC Agents gave a chase,
overtook the car, and signaled for them to stop but Sgt. Hope made a U-turn to try to escape and was only
prevented by the buses in front which he could not overtake. The RASAC Agents then succeeded in blocking
the car.
Manuel and Sabado saw 4 boxes on the back seat of the Dodge and when they asked what they were, Hope
answered I do not know. When asked where they were bringing such boxes, Medina answered that they
were taking them to Tropical Hut at Epifanio de los Santos. Sabado boarded the Dodge while Manuel boarded
the RASAC car and the 2 cars proceeded to Tropical Hut.
Col. Abad joined the party at Tropical Hut. Medina said that there was a man who was supposedly going to
receive the boxes. Said man did not appear. Col. Abad then called off the mission and brought Medina and
Hope to Camp Aguinaldo.
An inspection of Hopes car revealed that it contained a total of 11 boxes; 4 in the back seat and 7 in
the compartment. The boxes were opened and photographed. The boxes contained more or less 4,441
wrist watches and more or less 1,075 watch bracelets (with assorted brands) which were all
supposedly untaxed.
A Warrant of Seizure and Detention was then issued against the items as well as the Dodge car. It was
admitted, however, that at the time Hope and Medina were apprehended, the RASAC

Agents were not armed with a warrant of arrest and seizure.


Seizure proceedings then ensued. Hope and Medina disclaimed ownership of the goods. Ownership was
claimed by an intervenor in the proceedings, Antonio del Rosario. Del Rosario claimed that he bought the
items from Buenafe Trading and contracted Medina to transport the packages to Manila for a Php 1,000
consideration. He also claimed that he thought that the necessary taxes were already paid.
Hope said that Medina was his girlfriend and that transporting the boxes in his car was a personal favor. He
did not know the contents of the boxes. Medina said that Del Rosario did not reveal to her the contents of the
boxes, just that upon delivering the boxes to Tropical Hut, the man who will receive them will give her the Php
1,000.
The Collector of Customs declared the seized items and the car not subject of forfeiture. The items were then
to be released to their original owners; with the taxes for the watches and bracelets were to be paid by Del
Rosario.
Thereafter; the City Fiscal of Quezon City, upon finding prima facie evidence, filed a criminal case against
Hope and Medina in CFI Rizal to which they pleaded not guilty. Agent Sabado was presenting as evidence the
pictures of the 11 boxes and the watches and bracelets. CFI Rizal ruled that the allegedly smuggled
articles as well as the pictures of such articles were inadmissible as evidence because of a
warrantless search and seizure.
Whether items seized in a moving vehicle without a warrant of seizure are inadmissible for evidence

No. The Court ruled that even though Hope and Medina were exonerated from administrative liability (when
the Collector of Customs declared the items seized as not subject to forfeiture) cannot deprive the States
right to prosecute.
o

In the case at bar, the decision of the Collector of Customs, as in other seizure proceedings,
concerns the res rather than the persona. The proceeding is a probe on contraband or
illegally imported goods. These merchandise violated the revenue law of the country, and as
such, have been prevented from being assimilated in lawful commerce until corresponding
duties are paid thereon and the penalties imposed and satisfied either in the form of fines or
of forfeiture in favor of the government who will dispose of them in accordance with law.

The importer or possessor is treated differently. The fact that the administrative penalty befalls on
him is an inconsequential incidence to criminal liability. By the same token, the probable guilt
cannot be negated simply because he was not held administratively liable.

The Court uses the Carroll doctrine, based from the Carroll v. United States case, which allowed the
admittance as evidence of 2 of the 68 liquor bottles found in an automobile. The Carroll doctrine:
o

Searches and seizures without warrant are valid if made upon probable cause, that is, upon a
belief, reasonably arising put of circumstances known to the seizing officer that an automobile or
other vehicle contains that which by law is subject to seizure and destruction.

The constitutional guarantee involves the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. However, as
what can be deemed from the case at hand, the search and seizure was not unreasonable. The RASAC
agents were vested with authority under the Tariff and Customs Code. The agents did
not exceed their authority in apprehending the vehicle and seizing the items based on probable cause to
believe that such items inside the moving vehicle were smuggled.

Also, the Court held that there were rare cases which can be exempted from the
requirement of a warrant, such as that of a moving vehicle. In applying for a warrant, one
must state the exact and precise location as to where the search is to be conducted. In the
case of a moving vehicle, like the blue Dodge, it was impossible to determine where such
car was to be found.
o

The circumstances of the case at bar undoubtedly fall squarely within the privileged area where
search and seizure may lawfully be effected without the need of a warrant. The facts being no less
receptive to the applicability of the classic American ruling, the latter's force and effect as well as
the Mago decision must be upheld and reiterated in this petition. the find that the constitutional
guarantee has not been violated and the respondent court gravely erred in issuing the order of
August 20, 1975 declaring as inadmissible evidence the items or articles obtained and seized by
the apprehending agents without any search warrant, as well as the pictures of said items
attempted to be presented as evidence against the accused.

Petition granted for privileged area where search and seizure may lawfully be effected without the need of a
warrant.