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ANTQUERA v.

PEOPLE
G.R. No.180661

Facts: Accused-appellant Antiquerra together with his live-in partner Cruz were
charged with illegal possession of paraphernalia for dangerous drugs before the
Pasay City RTC. Since Cruz jumped bail, the court tried her in absentia.

The charge arose from the incident which happened around 4:45 am of
February 11, 2014, when PO1 Recio and PO1 Cabutihan on board a patrol car
conducting a police visibility patrol on David Street, Pasay City were able to see two
unidentified men rush out of a house, who immediately boarded a jeep.

Suspecting that a crime had been committed, the police officers approached
the house from where the men came and peeked through the partially opened door.
PO1 and PO1 Cabutihan saw two people facing each other at the living
room;accussed Antiquera holding an improvised tooter and a pink lighter and Cruz,
who was beside him, holding an aluminum foil and an improvised burner.This
prompted the police officers to enter the house, introduce themselves and arrest
Antiquera and Cruz . Upon inspection of the surroundings, the policemen were able
to recover additional shabu substances and paraphernalias inside a wooden jewelry
box atop a table. THe police officers confiscated all these and brought the two to the
Pasay Police Staion for further investigation and testing. The confiscated drug
paraphernalia were then found positive for traces of shabu.

The RTC found the accused guilty of the crime charged which was, later on,
affirmed by the CA upon appeal. Hence, this case.

ISSUE: Whether or not peeking inside a house with partially opened door is a valid
ground for a warrantless arrest and search.

HELD: No, the Court held that it was not a case of valid warrantless arrest more so a
warrantless search since circumstances of the same does not constitute an in
flagrante delicto. The police officers instead of giving a chase to that two fleeing
men, went straight to the house even when they heard no cry for help from it and
admittedly, did not notice anything amiss going on in the house from the street
where they stood. Indeed, even as they peeked through its partially opened door,

they saw no activity that warranted their entering it, which may be inferred from
PO1 Cabutihan's testimony during the trial.

Clearly, no crime was plainly exposed to the view of the arresting officers that
authorized the arrest of accused Antiquera without under the above-mentioned rule.
Considering that his arrest was illegal, the search and seizure that resulted from it
was likewise illegal. Consequently, the various drug paraphernalia that the police
officers allegedly found in the house and seized are inadmissible, having proceeded
from an invalid search and seizure. Since the confiscated drug paraphernalia is the
very corpus delicti of the crime charged, the Court has no choice but to acquit the
accused.