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case digest

(WARRANTLESS ARREST)
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
VS.
OSCAR CONDE
[GR 113269, 10 April 2001]

FACTS:

On 25 May 1992 at about 8:00 A.M., Apollo Romero was home sitting by the
window and drinking coffee when he saw 4 men in Santolan Street block the
path of 2 Indian nationals (bombay) on a motorcycle. Oscar Conde y Lutoc
poked a gun at the two Indians while his three companions (Alejandro Perez
Jr. y Carsillar, Allan Atis y Abet, and another unidentified man) approached
and stabbed the Indians. Atis took the goods which were being sold by the
two Indians on installment. After the stabbing, the four men fled from the
crime scene towards Mabolo Street. PO3 Rodencio Sevillano of the
Intelligence and Investigation Division (IID) of the PNP, Kalookan City
investigated the incident. On 30 May 1992, the police arrested Conde, Perez
and Atis. Police recovered the weapons used in the robbery, when Felicidad
Macabare, Conde's wife, went to the police station to talk to Conde. These
weapons were discovered inside her bag after a routine inspection. Sevillano
admitted, however, that they did not have a warrant of arrest when they
apprehended the accused. Nor did they have a search warrant when they
inspected Felicidad's bag and when they searched the house of a certain
Jimmy where they found the stolen items. Conde, Perez and Atis were
charged with the crime of robbery with homicide. The accused entered pleas
of not guilty. On 15 December 1993 the Regional Trial Court, Branch 129,
Kalookan City found Conde, Atis and Perez guilty of the special complex crime
of robbery with homicide and sentenced each of them to suffer the penalty of
reclusion perpetua with the accessory penalties under the law, and to jointly

and severally indemnify the heirs of each of the victims, Sukhdev Singh and
Biant Singh, in the amount of P50,000.00. Conde, et. al. appealed. However,
the counsel de parte for Perez, Atty. Jose M. Marquez, failed to file brief for
Perez, prompting this Court to dismiss his appeal. The decision of the trial
court became final and executory with respect to Perez. Hence the present
appeal concerns only Atis and Conde, who filed their separate briefs.

ISSUE:
Whether the illegal warrantless arrest, which was waived, is sufficient
cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint
after trial free of error.

RULING:
The arrests of Conde, et. al. came after the lapse of 5 days from the
time they were seen committing the crime. At the time they were arrested,
the police were not armed with any warrants for their arrests. Section 5 of
Rule 113, of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure 27 enumerates the
instances when an arrest can be made without warrant, namely: (a) When, in
his presence the person to be arrested has committed, is actually
committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has
in fact just been committed, and he has probable cause to believe based on
personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested
has committed it; and (c) 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. None of the above
circumstances is present herein. Conde, et. al. were merely walking along
Tandang Sora Avenue and were not committing any crime. Neither can it be
said that the crime had just been committed as 5 days had already passed
from the time of the robbery with homicide. It cannot also be said that the
arresting officers had probable cause based on personal knowledge, as PO3
Sevillano admitted that they learned about the suspects from Apollo Romero
and certain unnamed informants. Further, the lapse of 5 days gave the police
more than enough time to conduct surveillance of the appellants and apply
for a warrant of arrest. Clearly, the rights of Conde, et. al., provided in Sec. 2,
Art. III of the Constitution 28 were violated. Unfortunately, they did not assert
their constitutional rights prior to their arraignment. This is fatal to their case.
An accused is estopped from assailing the legality of his arrest if he failed to
move for the quashing of the Information against him before his arraignment.
When they entered their pleas on arraignment without invoking their rights to

question any irregularity, which might have accompanied their arrests, they
voluntarily submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the court and the
judicial process. Any objection, defect, or irregularity attending their arrests
should had been made before they entered their pleas. It is much too late for
them to raise the question of their warrantless arrests. Their pleas to the
information upon arraignment constitute clear waivers of their rights against
unlawful restraint of liberty. Furthermore, the illegal arrest of an accused is
not sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a
sufficient complaint after trial free from error. The warrantless arrest, even if
illegal, cannot render void all other proceedings including those leading to the
conviction of the appellants and his co-accused, nor can the state be
deprived of its right to convict the guilty when all the facts on record point to
their culpability.

(PROHIBITION AGAINST IMPAIRMENT OF CONTRACT)


HARRISON MOTORS CORPORATION, petitioner
vs.
RACHEL A. NAVARRO
G.R. No. 132269, April 27, 2000

FACTS:

Sometime in June of 1987 Harrison Motors Corporation through its president,


Renato Claros, sold two Isuzu Elf trucks to private respondent Rachel Navarro,
owner of RN Freight Lines, a franchise holder operating and maintaining a
fleet of cargo trucks all over Luzon. Petitioner, a known importer, assembler
and manufacturer, assembled the two (2) trucks using the components parts.
Prior to the sale, all the BIR Taxes and customs duties for the parts used on
the two trucks had been paid for. Subsequently, the Bureau of Internal
Revenue (BIR), the Land Transportation Office entered a Memorandum of
Agreement which provided that for purposes of registering vehicles, a
Certificate of Payment should first be obtained from the BIR.

On June 16, 1988 the BIR, BOC and LTO entered into a tripartite MOA that
prior to the registration in the LTO of any locally assembled motor vehicle
using imported component parts, a Certificate of Payment should first be
obtained from the BIR and BOC to prove that all existing taxes and customs
duties have been paid. Government agents seized and detained the two
trucks of Navarro after discovering that there were still unpaid taxes. Navarro
ask for the receipts evidencing payment of BIR taxes and customs duties,
however, Claros refused to comply. Wanting to secure the immediate release
of the trucks, Navarro paid the assessed BIR taxes and customs duties and
ask for reimbursement but Claros again refused.

ISSUE:

Whether the two (2) Memorandum of Agreement impairs the contract


of sale between petitioner and private respondent.

RULING:

The Memorandum of Agreement does not impose any additional taxes


which would unduly impair the contract of sale between the petitioner and
private respondent. Instead, these administrative orders were passed to
enforce payment of existing BIR taxes and customs duties at the time of
importation. Clearly, petitioners contention is unmeritorious. What Sec 10 Art
III of the Constitution prohibits is the passage of a law which enlarges,
abridges or in any manner changes the intention of the contracting parties.
Court of Appeals ordered Petitioner Harrison Motors Corporation to
reimburse respondent Rachel Navarro.

(EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE)


TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND BROADCAST ATTORNEYS OF THE PHILIPPINES,
INC. and GMA NETWORK, INC., petitioners, vs. THE COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS, respondent.

[G.R. No. 132922. April 21, 1998]

FACTS:

Petitioner Telecommunications and Broadcast Attorneys of the Philippines,


Inc. (TELEBAP) is an organization of lawyers of radio and television
broadcasting companies. They are suing as citizens, taxpayers and registered
voters. It was declared to be without legal standing to sue in this case as,
among other reasons, it was not able to show that it was to suffer from actual
or threatened injury as a result of the subject law. Other petitioner, GMA
Network, Inc., appears to have the requisite standing to bring this
constitutional challenge. Petitioner operates radio and television broadcast
stations in the Philippines affected by the enforcement of Sec. 92 of B.P Blg.
881 requiring radio and television broadcast companies to provide free air
time to the COMELEC for the use of candidates for campaign and other
political purposes. Petitioners challenge the validity of Sec. 92 on the ground
(1) that it takes property without due process of law and without just
compensation; (2) that it denies radio and television broadcast companies
the equal protection of the laws; and (3) that it is in excess of the power
given to the COMELEC to supervise or regulate the operation of media of
communication or information during the period of election. Petitioner claims
that it suffered losses running to several million pesos in providing COMELEC
Time in connection with the 1992 presidential election and 1995 senatorial
election and that it stands to suffer even more should it be required to do so
again this year. Petitioners claim that the primary source of revenue of the
radio and television stations is the sale of air time to advertisers and to
require these stations to provide free air time is to authorize unjust taking of
private property. According to petitioners, in 1992 it lost P22,498,560.00 in
providing free air time for one hour each day and, in this years elections, it
stands to lost P58,980,850.00 in view of COMELECs requirement that it
provide at least 30 minutes of prime time daily for COMELEC Time.

ISSUES:

(1) Whether or not Section 92 of B.P. No. 881 denies radio and television

broadcast companies the equal protection of the laws.


(2) Whether or not Section 92 of B.P. No. 881 constitutes taking of property
without due process of law and without just compensation.

RULING:

Petitioners argument is without merit. All broadcasting, whether radio or by


television stations, is licensed by the government. Airwave frequencies have
to be allocated as there are more individuals who want to broadcast that
there are frequencies to assign. Radio and television broadcasting companies,
which are given franchises, do not own the airwaves and frequencies through
which they transmit broadcast signals and images. They are merely given the
temporary privilege to use them. Thus, such exercise of the privilege may
reasonably be burdened with the performance by the grantee of some form
of public service. In granting the privilege to operate broadcast stations and
supervising radio and television stations, the state spends considerable
public funds in licensing and supervising them.
The argument that the subject law singles out radio and television stations to
provide free air time as against newspapers and magazines which require
payment of just compensation for the print space they may provide is
likewise without merit. Regulation of the broadcast industry requires spending
of public funds which it does not do in the case of print media. To require the
broadcast industry to provide free air time for COMELEC is a fair exchange for
what the industry gets.
As radio and television broadcast stations do not own the airwaves, no
private property is taken by the requirement that they provide air time to the
COMELEC. The use of property bears a social function and is subject to the
states duty to intervene for the common good. Broadcast media can find
their just and highest reward in the fact that whatever altruistic service they
may render in connection with the holding of elections is for that common
good.
For the foregoing reasons, the petition is dismissed.

(PRE- ARRAIGNMENT DUTIES OF TRIAL JUDGE)

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,plaintiff-appellee


VS.
EDUARDO AGBAYANI y MENDOZA, accused-apellant
G.R NO 122770, January 16, 1998

FACTS:

Eduardo Agbayani was charged for raping his 14-year old daughter,
Eden Agbayani at the sanctity of their rented room on July 19, 1994 and was
found guilty of the crime of rape. A motion for a new trial was filed before the
court by the new counsel of the accused assailing the irregularities prejudicial
to the substantial rights of the accused invoking the failure of the court to
inform the accused of his right to choose his own counsel. He further alleged
that his counsel de oficio was never prepared during all the scheduled
hearings; worse, even waived the presence of appellant after the third
witness for the prosecution was presented. He also averred that the trial
court uses its inherent power of contempt to intimidate private complainant.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the failure of the record to disclose affirmatively that


the trial judge advised the accused of the right to have counsel is sufficient
ground to reverse the judgment of conviction and to send the case back for a
new trial.

RULING:

It is settled that the failure of the record to disclose affirmatively that

the trial judge advised the accused of his right to counsel is not sufficient
ground to reverse conviction. The reason being that the trial court must be
presumed to have complied with the procedure prescribed by law for the
hearing and trial of cases, and that such a presumption can only be overcome
by an affirmative procedure prescribed by law for the hearing and trial of
cases, and that such a presumption can only be overcome by an affirmative
showing to the contrary. Thus it has also been held that unless the contrary
appears in the record, or that it is positively proved that the trial court failed
to inform that accused of his right to counsel, it will be presumed that the
accused was informed by the court of such right.
Sec 19 of the Rules of Court provides that after a plea of not guilty,
the accused is entitled to two (2) days to prepare for trial unless the court for
good cause grants him further time. It must be pointed out that the right
must be expressly demanded. Only when so demanded does denial thereof
constitute reversible error and a ground for new trial. Further, such right may
be waived, expressly or impliedly. In the instant case, appellant did not ask
for time to prepare for trial, hence, he effectively waived such right. It is
untenable to believe that the counsel who represented the appellant was not
prepared during the trial as records showed he was able to cross-examine the
complainant and there was no ground to claim he is incompetent to represent
the appellant in court. The SC thereby affirmed the decision of the lower court
finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

(UNREASONABLE SEARCH AND SEIZURE)


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,petitioner
Vs.
LEILA REYES JOHNSON, respondent
[GR 138881, 18 December 2000]

FACTS:

Leila Reyes Johnson was, at the time of the incident, 58 years old, a
widow, and a resident of Ocean Side, California, U.S.A. She is a former Filipino
citizen who was naturalized as an American on 16 June 1968 and had since
been working as a registered nurse, taking care of geriatric patients and
those with Alzheimer's disease, in convalescent homes in the United States.
On 16 June 1998, she arrived in the Philippines to visit her son's family in
Calamba, Laguna. She was due to fly back to the United States on July 26. On
July 25, she checked in at the Philippine Village Hotel to avoid the traffic on
the way to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and checked out at
5:30 p.m. the next day, 26 June 1998. At around 7:30 p.m. of that day, Olivia
Ramirez was on duty as a lady frisker at Gate 16 of the NAIA departure area.
Her duty was to frisk departing passengers, employees, and crew and check
for weapons, bombs, prohibited drugs, contraband goods, and explosives.
When she frisked Johnson, a departing passenger bound for the United States
via Continental Airlines CS-912, she felt something hard on the latter's
abdominal area. Upon inquiry, Mrs. Johnson explained she needed to wear
two panty girdles as she had just undergone an operation as a result of an
ectopic pregnancy. Not satisfied with the explanation, Ramirez reported the
matter to her superior, SPO4 Reynaldo Embile, saying "Sir, hindi po ako
naniniwalang panty lang po iyon." She was directed to take Johnson to the

nearest women's room for inspection. Ramirez took Johnson to the rest room,
accompanied by SPO1 Rizalina Bernal. Embile stayed outside. Inside the
women's room, Johnson was asked again by Ramirez what the hard object on
her stomach was and Johnson gave the same answer she had previously
given. Ramirez then asked her "to bring out the thing under her girdle."
Johnson brought out three plastic packs, which Ramirez then turned over to
Embile, outside the women's room. The confiscated packs contained a total of
580.2 grams of a substance which was fount by NBI Chemist George de Lara
to be methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu." Embile took Johnson and
the plastic packs to the 1st Regional Aviation and Security Office (1st RASO)
at the arrival area of the NAIA, where Johnson's passport and ticket were
taken and her luggage opened. Pictures were taken and her personal
belongings were itemized. Johnson was charged for the possession of 3
plastic bages of methamphetamine hydrochloride, a regulated drug, weighing
a total of 580.2 grams; a violation of 16 of RA 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act),
as amended by RA 7659. On 14 May 1999, the Regional Trial Court, Branch
110, Pasay City, found Johnson guilty and sentenced her to suffer the penalty
of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P500,000.00 and the costs of the
suit. Johnson appealed.

ISSUE:

Whether the extensive search made on Johnson at the airport violates her
right against unreasonable search and seizure.

RULING:

The constitutional right of the accused was not violated as she was never
placed under custodial investigation but was validly arrested without warrant
pursuant to the provisions of Section 5, Rule 113 of tie 1985 Rules of Criminal
Procedure which provides that "A peace officer or a private person may,
without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) when in his presence, the person to be
arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit
an offense; (b) when an offense has in fact just been committed and person
to be arrested has committed it; and xxx." The circumstances surrounding
the arrest of the accused falls in either paragraph (a) or (b) of the Rule above
cited, hence the allegation that she has been subjected to custodial
investigation is far from being accurate. The methamphetamine

hydrochloride seized from her during the routine frisk at the airport was
acquired legitimately pursuant to airport security procedures. Persons may
lose the protection of the search and seizure clause by exposure of their
persons or property to the public in a manner reflecting a lack of subjective
expectation of privacy, which expectation society is prepared to recognize as
reasonable. Such recognition is implicit in airport security procedures. With
increased concern over airplane hijacking and terrorism has come increased
security at the nation's airports. Passengers attempting to board an aircraft
routinely pass through metal detectors; their carry-on baggage as well as
checked luggage are routinely subjected to x-ray scans. Should these
procedures suggest the presence of suspicious objects, physical searches are
conducted to determine what the objects are. There is little question that
such searches are reasonable, given their minimal intrusiveness, the gravity
of the safety interests involved, and the reduced privacy expectations
associated with airline travel. Indeed, travelers are often notified through
airport public address systems, signs, and notices in their airline tickets that
they are subject to search and, if any prohibited materials or substances are
found, such would be subject to seizure. These announcements place
passengers on notice that ordinary constitutional protections against
warrantless searches and seizures do not apply to routine airport procedures.
The packs of methamphetamine hydrochloride having thus been obtained
through a valid warrantless search, they are admissible in evidence against
Johnson. Corollarily, her subsequent arrest, although likewise without warrant,
was justified since it was effected upon the discovery and recovery of "shabu"
in her person in flagrante delicto.