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Dagloc v. COMELEC, 395 SCRA 742 (2003)


a.k.a. 'Asiong Salonga' and 'Jose Velarde,' together with Jose 'Jinggoy'

People v. Tee, 395 SCRA 419 (2003)
FACTS: Appellant is a Chinese national in his forties, a businessman, and a resident
of Baguio City. A raid conducted by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation
(NBI) and Philippine National Police Narcotics Command (PNP NARCOM) at
premises allegedly leased by appellant and at his residence yielded huge quantities
of marijuana.

Estrada, Charlie 'Atong' Ang, Edward Serapio, Yolanda T. Ricaforte, Alma

Alfaro, John Doe a.k.a. Eleuterio Tan or Eleuterio Ramos Tan or Mr. Uy,
Jane Doe a.k.a. Delia Rajas and John Does & Jane Does of the crime of
Plunder under RA 7080 (An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of

relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business associates, subordinates

and/or other persons, by taking undue advantage of his official position,
authority, relationship, connection, or influence, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and criminally amass, accumulate and acquire by himself, directly
or indirectly, ill-gotten wealth of P4,097,804,173.17 thereby unjustly

ISSUE: Whether or not the appellant's contention that the description on the serach
warrant which says an undetermined amount of marijuana, was too general and
hence makes the warrant void for vagueness.

Void for vagueness
Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 148560, Nov. 19, 2001

June, 1998 to January 2001: Estrada himself and/or in

connivance/conspiracy with his co-accused, who are members of his family,

Appellant moved to quash the search warrant on the ground that it was too general
and that the NBI had not complied with the requirements for the issuance of a valid
search warrant. The pendency of said motion, however, did not stop the filing of the
appropriate charges against appellant. In an information dated July 24, 1998, the City
Prosecutor of Baguio City charged Modesto Tee, alias Estoy Tee, with illegal
possession of marijuana.

HELD: SC held that the appellants contention, has no leg to stand on. The
constitutional requirement of reasonable particularity of description of the things to be
seized is primarily meant to enable the law enforcers serving the warrant to: (1)
readily identify the properties to be seized and thus prevent them from seizing the
wrong items; and (2) leave said peace officers with no discretion regarding the
articles to be seized and thus prevent unreasonable searches and seizures. What the
Constitution seeks to avoid are search warrants of broad or general characterization
or sweeping descriptions, which will authorize police officers to undertake a fishing
expedition to seize and confiscate any and all kinds of evidence or articles relating to
an offense. However, it is not required that technical precision of description be
required, particularly, where by the nature of the goods to be seized, their description
must be rather general, since the requirement of a technical description would mean
that no warrant could issue.

An information is filed against former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada

enriching himself or themselves at the expense and to the damage of the

Filipino people and the Republic of the Philippines, through any or a
combination or a series of overt or criminal acts, or similar schemes or

Received P545,000,000.00 in the form of gift, share, percentage, kickback

or any form of pecuniary benefit, by himself and/or in connection with coaccused Charlie 'Atong' Ang, Jose 'Jinggoy' Estrada, Yolanda T. Ricaforte,
Edward Serapio, and John Does and Jane Does, in consideration of
toleration or protection of illegal gambling

Diverting, receiving, misappropriating, converting or misusing directly or

indirectly, for his or their personal gain and benefit, public funds of
P130,000,000.00, more or less, representing a portion of P200,000,000.00)
tobacco excise tax share allocated for the
province of Ilocos Sur under R.A. No. 7171, by himself and/or in
connivance with co-accused Charlie 'Atong' Ang, Alma Alfaro, John Doe
a.k.a. Eleuterio Ramos Tan or Mr. Uy, Jane Doe a.k.a. Delia Rajas, and
other John Does & Jane Does

For His Personal Gain And Benefit, The Government Service Insurance

finding that a probable cause for the offense of plunder exists to justify the issuance

And The Social Security System (SSS), 329,855,000 Shares Of Stock, More

of warrants for the arrest of the accused

June 14, 2001: Estrada moved to quash the Information in Crim. Case No. 26558

P744,612,450.00 respectively and by collecting or receiving, directly or

on the ground that the facts alleged therein did NOT constitute an indictable offense

indirectly, by himself and/or in connivance with John Does and Jane Does,

since the law on which it was based was unconstitutional for vagueness and that the

commissions or percentages by reason of said purchases which became

Amended Information for Plunder charged more than 1 offense Denied

part of the deposit in the equitable-pci bank under the account name Jose


1. The Plunder Law is unconstitutional for being vague

by unjustly enriching himself from commissions, gifts, shares, percentages,

2. The Plunder Law requires less evidence for proving the predicate crimes of plunder

kickbacks, or any form of pecuniary benefits, in connivance with John Does

and Jane Does, P3,233,104,173.17 and depositing the same under his

Estrada filed a petition for certiorari are:

and therefore violates the rights of the accused to due process

3. Whether Plunder as defined in RA 7080 is a malum prohibitum, and if so, whether it is

account name Jose Velarde at the Equitable-Pci Bank

April 25, 2001: Sandiganbayan issued a Resolution in Crim. Case No. 26558

System (GSIS) To Purchase 351,878,000 Shares Of Stocks, More Or Less,

Or Less, Of The Belle Corporation worth P1,102,965,607.50 and

within the power of Congress to so classify it

Estrada questions the constitutionality of the Plunder Law since for him:

1. it suffers from the vice of vagueness


2. it dispenses with the "reasonable doubt" standard in criminal prosecutions

1. W/N the Plunder Law is constitutional (consti1)

3. it abolishes the element of mens rea in crimes already punishable under The Revised

2. W/N the Plunder Law dispenses with the "reasonable doubt" standard in criminal

Penal Code

April 4, 2001: Office of the Ombudsman filed before the Sandiganbayan 8 separate

prosecutions (crim pro)

3. W/N the Plunder Law is a malum prohibitum (crim law 1)

Informations, docketed as:

1. Crim. Case No. 26558, for violation of RA 7080, as amended by RA 7659
2. Crim. Cases Nos. 26559 to 26562, inclusive, for violation of Secs. 3, par. (a), 3, par.
(a), 3, par. (e) and 3, par. (e), of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices

HELD: Petition is dismissed. Plunder Law is constitutional.

1. YES

Act), respectively
3. Crim. Case No. 26563, for violation of Sec. 7, par. (d), of RA 6713 (The Code of

Miserably failed in the instant case to discharge his burden and overcome the
presumption of constitutionality of the Plunder Law

Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees)

Plunder Law contains ascertainable standards and well-defined parameters which

would enable the accused to determine the nature of his violation.

4. Crim. Case No. 26564, for Perjury (Art. 183 of The Revised Penal Code)

Combination- at least two (2) acts falling under different categories of enumeration

5. Crim. Case No. 26565, for Illegal Use Of An Alias (CA No. 142, as amended by RA

series - must be two (2) or more overt or criminal acts falling under the same


April 11, 2001: Estrada filed an Omnibus Motion on the grounds of lack of
preliminary investigation, reconsideration/reinvestigation of offenses and opportunity
to prove lack of probable cause. - Denied

category of enumeration

pattern - at least a combination or series of overt or criminal acts enumerated in

subsections (1) to (6) of Sec. 1 (d)

Void-For-Vagueness Doctrine - a statute which either forbids or requires the doing

of an act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess

2. NO.

at its meaning and differ as to its application, violates the first essential of due

process of law
o The test in determining whether a criminal statute is void for uncertainty is whether the

The use of the "reasonable doubt" standard is indispensable to command the

respect and confidence of the community in the application of criminal law.

o has acquired such exalted stature in the realm of constitutional law as it gives life to

language conveys a sufficiently definite warning as to the proscribed conduct when

the Due Process Clause which protects the accused against conviction except upon

measured by common understanding and practice

proof beyond reasonable doubt of every fact necessary to constitute the crime with

o can only be invoked against that specie of legislation that is utterly vague on its face,
i.e., that which cannot be clarified either by a saving clause or by construction

which he is charged

o a statute or act may be said to be vague when it lacks comprehensible standards that

What the prosecution needs to prove beyond reasonable doubt is only a number of
acts sufficient to form a combination or series which would constitute a pattern and

men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ in its

involving an amount of at least P50,000,000.00. There is no need to prove each and


every other act alleged in the Information to have been committed by the accused in

o the statute is repugnant to the Constitution in 2 respects:

furtherance of the overall unlawful scheme or conspiracy to amass, accumulate or

a. it violates due process for failure to accord persons, especially the parties targeted by

acquire ill-gotten wealth

it, fair notice of what conduct to avoid

o Pattern is merely a by-product of the proof of the predicate acts. This conclusion is

b. it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying out its provisions and becomes

consistent with reason and common sense. There would be no other explanation for

an arbitrary flexing of the Government muscle

a combination or series of overt or criminal acts to stash P50,000,000.00 or more,

o As for the vagueness doctrine, it is said that a litigant may challenge a statute on its
face only if it is vague in all its possible applications

Overbreadth Doctrine - a governmental purpose may NOT be achieved by means

which sweep unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area of protected

o overbreadth claims, if entertained at all, have been curtailed when invoked against
ordinary criminal laws that are sought to be applied to protected conduct

A facial challenge is allowed to be made to a vague statute and to one which is

overbroad because of possible "chilling effect" upon protected speech.

Criminal statutes have general in terrorem effect resulting from their very existence,
and, if facial challenge is allowed for this reason alone, the State may well be
prevented from enacting laws against socially harmful conduct. In the area of
criminal law, the law cannot take chances as in the area of free speech.

The overbreadth and vagueness doctrines then have special application only to free
speech cases.

than "a scheme or conspiracy to amass, accumulate or acquire ill gotten wealth."
3. NO

plunder is a malum in se which requires proof of criminal intent (mens rea)

o Any person who participated with the said public officer in the commission of an
offense contributing to the crime of plunder shall likewise be punished for such
o In the imposition of penalties, the degree of participation and the attendance of
mitigating and extenuating circumstances, as provided by the Revised Penal Code,
shall be considered by the court.
indicates quite clearly that mens rea is an element of plunder since the degree of
responsibility of the offender is determined by his criminal intent
o The legislative declaration in R.A. No. 7659 that plunder is a heinous offense implies
that it is a malum in se. For when the acts punished are inherently immoral or
inherently wrong, they are mala in se and it does not matter that such acts are

punished in a special law, especially since in the case of plunder the predicate crimes
are mainly mala in se
City of Manila v. Laguio, 455 SCRA 308 (2005)
Facts: The private respondent, Malate Tourist Development Corporation (MTOC) is a
corporation engaged in the business of operating hotels, motels, hostels, and lodging
houses. It built and opened Victoria Court in Malate which was licensed as a motel
although duly accredited with the Department of Tourism as a hotel.
March 30, 1993 - City Mayor Alfredo S. Lim approved an ordinance enacted which
prohibited certain forms of amusement, entertainment, services and facilities where
women are used as tools in entertainment and which tend to disturb the community,
annoy the inhabitants, and adversely affect the social and moral welfare of the
community. The Ordinance prohibited the establishment of sauna parlors, massage
parlors, karaoke bars, beerhouses, night clubs, day clubs, cabarets, motels, inns.
Owners and operators of the enumerated establishments are given three months to
wind up business operations or transfer to any place outside Ermita-Malate or convert
said businesses to other kinds allowable within the area. The Ordinance also
provided that in case of violation and conviction, the premises of the erring
establishment shall be closed and padlocked permanently.
June 28, 1993 - MTOC filed a Petition with the lower court, praying that the
Ordinance, insofar as it included motels and inns as among its prohibited
establishments, be declared invalid and unconstitutional for several reasons but
mainly because it is not a valid exercise of police power and it constitutes a denial of
equal protection under the law.
Judge Laguio ruled for the petitioners. The case was elevated to the Supreme Court.
Issue: WON the Ordinance is constitutional.
Held: SC held that the ordinance is unconstitutional for several reasons.
First, it did not meet the valid exercise of police power. To successfully invoke the
exercise of police power, not only must it appear that (1)the interest of the public
generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require an interference
with private rights, but (2)the means employed must be reasonably necessary for the
accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive. The object of the

ordinance was the promotion and protection of the social and moral values of the
community. The closing down and transfer of businesses or their conversion into
businesses allowed under the ordinance have no reasonable relation to its purpose.
Otherwise stated, the prohibition of the enumerated establishments will not per se
protect and promote social and moral welfare of the community. It will not itself
eradicate prostitution, adultery, fornication nor will it arrest the spread of sexual
disease in Manila.
Second. The modality employed constitutes unlawful taking. The ordinance is
unreasonable and oppressive as it substantially divests the respondent of the
beneficial use of its property. The ordinance forbids running of the enumerated
businesses in Ermita-Malate area and instructs owners/operators to wind up their
business operations or to transfer outside the area or convert said business into
allowed business. An ordinance which permanently restricts the use of property that it
cannot be used for any reasonable purpose goes beyond regulation and must be
recognized as a taking of the property without just compensation. It is intrusive and
violative of the private property rights of individuals. There are two types of taking: A
possessory taking and a regulatory taking. The latter occurs when the
governments regulation leaves no reasonable economically viable use of the
property, as in this case.
Third. The ordinance violates the equal protection clause. Equal protection requires
that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to the
rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. Similar subjects, in other words, should
not be treated differently, so as to give undue favor to some. Legislative bodies are
allowed to classify the subjects of legislation provided the classification is reasonable.
To be valid, it must conform to the following requirements: (1)It must be based on
substantial distinction; (2)It must be germane to the purpose of the law; (3)It must not
be limited to existing conditions only; and (4)It must apply equally to all members of
the class. In the Courts view, there are no substantial distinction between motels,
inns, pension houses, hotels, lodging houses or other similar establishments. By
definition, all are commercial establishments providing lodging and usually meals and
other services for the public. No reason exists for prohibiting motels and inns but not
pension houses, hotels, lodging houses or other similar establishments. The Court
likewise cannot see the logic for prohibiting the business and operation of motels in
the Ermita-Malate area but not outside this area. A noxious establishment does not
become any less noxious if located outside the area.
Fourth. The ordinance is repugnant to general laws, thus it is ultra vires. The
ordinance is in contravention of the Revised Administrative Code as the Code merely
empowers the local government units to regulate, and not prohibit, the establishments
enumerated. Not only that, it likewise runs counter to the provisions of P.D. 499. The

P.D. Had already converted the residential Ermita-Malate area into a commercial
area. The decree allowed the establishment and operation of all kinds of commercial
Wherefore, the petition was DENIED and the decision of the RTC was AFFIRMED.
Equal Protection
Beltran v. Secretary of Health, 476 SCRA 168 (2005)
Facts: Petitioners comprise the majority of the Board of Directors of the Philippine
Association of Blood Banks, a duly registered non-stock and non-profit association
composed of free standing blood banks. Public respondent Secretary of Health is
being sued in his capacity as the public official directly involved and charged with the
enforcement and implementation of RA 7719 or the National Blood Service Act.
Section 7 of RA 7719 provides phase-out of Commercial Blood Banks. Petitioners
assail the constitutionality of the said provision on the ground, among others, that
such represents undue delegation if not outright abdication of the police power of the
Issue: Whether or not RA 7719 is a valid exercise of police power
Held: Petitions dismissed. The court upholds the validity of RA 7719.
The promotion of public health is a fundamental obligation of the State. The health of
the people is a primordial governmental concern. RA 7719 was enacted in the
exercise of the States police power in order to promote and preserve public health
and safety.
Police power of the state is validly exercised if (a) the interest of the public generally,
as distinguished from those of a particular class, requires the interference of the
State; and (b) the means employed are reasonably necessary to the attainment of the
objective sought to be accomplished and not unduly oppressive upon individuals
Police power is the State authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal
liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare.
Thus, persons may be subject to certain kinds of restraints and burdens in order to
secure the general welfare of the State and to its fundamental aim of government, the
rights of the individual may be subordinated.

Section 2 Security in their persons, houses, papers, and effects

Arrests, searches & seizures
Warrantless arrest (Rule 113, Sec. 5, 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure)
People v. Kimura, 428 SCRA 51 (2004)
FACTS: Appellants Tomohisa Kimura and Akira Kizaki seek reversal of the
decision[2] dated June 27, 1997 in Criminal Case No. 94-5606, rendered by the
Regional Trial Court (Branch 66), Makati City, finding them guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of violation of Section 4, Article II of Republic Act No. 6425, as amended by
R.A. No. 7659, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, and
sentencing each of them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine
of P500,000.00.
The Information dated August 8, 1994 against the accused alleges:
The undersigned State Prosecutor of the Department of Justice accuses TOMOHISA
KIMURA and AKIRA KIZAKI of violation of Section 4, Article II of Republic Act 6425,
as amended by R.A. 7659, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972,
committed as follows:
That on or about June 27, 1994 in Makati, Metro Manila and within the jurisdiction of
this Honorable Court, the above-named accused conspiring, confederating and
mutually helping one another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
transport and deliver without lawful authority approximately 40,768 grams of Indian
hemp (marijuana), a prohibited drug, in violation of the aforecited law.
Appellant Kizaki was arrested on June 29, 1994, two days after the Cash and Carry
incident, in the Nippon Ichi Restaurant located at Mabini, Manila. He was having
dinner with Lt. Col. Rodolfo Tan, Masami Y. Nishino, Anita Takeyama and Akiyoshi
Takeyama. These witnesses executed a joint affidavit[36] and testified that while they
were about to leave the restaurant, a man got near Kizaki and asked for his passport
whom they thought was from the Immigration. Later, they learned that Kizaki was
brought to CampKaringal.
Appellant Kizaki further contends that he was arrested two days after the alleged buybust operation without a valid warrant of arrest. He points out that although the trial
court expressed doubts as to the legality of his arrest, it nevertheless convicted him of
the crime charged, which is in violation of the Constitution. Kizaki argues that he
could not have been caught in flagrante delicto to justify the warrantless arrest when
he was arrested two days after the alleged Cash and Carry incident while he was only
having dinner with his friends at a restaurant.

ISSUE: W/N the arrest is valid.

HELD: No. Appellant Kizaki assails the legality of his warrantless arrest. Indeed,
SPO1 Delfin, one of those who arrested appellant Kizaki at the Nippon Ichi
restaurant, admitted that they did not have a warrant of arrest when his group
arrested Kizaki on the night of June 29, 1994. Rule 113, Section 5 of the Revised
Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that a peace officer or a private person may,
without a warrant, arrest a person only under the following circumstances:
(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 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
is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped
while being transferred from one confinement to another.
The alleged crime happened on June 27, 1994 and appellant Kizaki was
arrested on June 29, 1994 or two days after the subject incident. At the time appellant
Kizaki was arrested, he was at a restaurant having dinner with a group of friends,
thus, he was not committing or attempting to commit a crime. Neither was he an
escaped prisoner whose arrest could be effected even without a warrant. It bears
stressing that none of the arresting officers of appellant Kizaki was present on the
night of June 27 where appellant Kizaki allegedly sold and transported marijuana and
escaped, thus the arresting officers had no personal knowledge of facts or
circumstances that appellant Kizaki committed the crime. None of the exceptions
enumerated above was present to justify appellant Kizakis warrantless arrest.
However, notwithstanding the unjustified warrantless arrest of appellant Kizaki,
the records show that he did not raise such question before he pleaded to the offense
charged.[40] Neither did he move to quash the information on that ground before the
trial court.[41] He thus waived objection to the illegality of his arrest.[42] Moreover,
appellant Kizakis application for bail[43] which was denied by the trial court likewise
constitutes a waiver of his right to question whatever irregularities and defects which
attended his arrest.[44]
Nevertheless, we find the other claims of appellants meritorious

Arrest under warrant

Soliven v. Makasiar, 167 SCRA 393 (1988)
FACTS: On March 30, 1988, the Secretary of Justice denied petitioners' motion for
reconsideration and upheld the resolution of the Undersecretary of Justice sustaining
the City Fiscal's finding of a prima facie case against petitioners. A second motion for
reconsideration filed by petitioner Beltran was denied by the Secretary of Justice on
April 7, 1988. On appeal, the President, through the Executive Secretary, affirmed the
resolution of the Secretary of Justice on May 2, 1988. The motion for reconsideration
was denied by the Executive Secretary on May 16, 1988. With these developments,
petitioners' contention that they have been denied the administrative remedies
available under the law has lost factual support.
Petitioner Beltran also said that the issuance of the warrant of arrest is not
valid because the judge did not personally examined the complainant and witnesses.
.On the other hand, Petitioner Beltran argues that "the reasons which
necessitate presidential immunity from suit impose a correlative disability to file suit."
He contends that if criminal proceedings ensue by virtue of the President's filing of
her complaint-affidavit, she may subsequently have to be a witness for the
prosecution, bringing her under the trial court's jurisdiction. This, continues Beltran,
would in an indirect way defeat her privilege of immunity from suit, as by testifying on
the witness stand, she would be exposing herself to possible contempt of court or
So, the petitioners raised 3 questions to contend if there is a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the public
respondents, respectively:
(1) whether or not petitioners were denied due process when informations for
libel were filed against them although the finding of the existence of a prima facie
case was still under review by the Secretary of Justice and, subsequently, by the
President; (2) whether or not the constitutional rights of Beltran were violated when
respondent RTC judge issued a warrant for his arrest without personally examining
the complainant and the witnesses, if any, to determine probable cause; and (3)
whether or not the President of the Philippines, under the Constitution, may initiate
criminal proceedings against the petitioners through the filing of a complaint-affidavit.

ISSUE: Whether or not there is a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or

excess of jurisdiction on the part of the public respondent.
RULING: The first question was rendered moot and academic. The allegation of
denial of due process of law in the preliminary investigation is negated by the fact that
instead of submitting his counter- affidavits, he filed a "Motion to Declare Proceedings
Closed," in effect waiving his right to refute the complaint by filing counter-affidavits.
Due process of law does not require that the respondent in a criminal case actually
file his counter-affidavits before the preliminary investigation is deemed completed.
All that is required is that the respondent be given the opportunity to submit counteraffidavits if he is so minded.
The second question, court interpreted the provision under Article III, sec 2,
which states that, no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon
probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under
oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be
The court said that, what the Constitution underscores is the exclusive and
personal responsibility of the issuing judge to satisfy himself of the existence of
probable cause. In satisfying himself of the existence of probable cause for the
issuance of a warrant of arrest, the judge is not required to personally examine the
complainant and his witnesses. Following established doctrine and procedure, he
shall: (1) personally evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by
the fiscal regarding the existence of probable cause and, on the basis thereof, issue a
warrant of arrest; or (2) if on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause, he may
disregard the fiscal's report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of
witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of probable cause.
The third question, court said that, the rationale for the grant to the President of
the privilege of immunity from suit is to assure the exercise of Presidential duties and
functions free from any hindrance or distraction, considering that being the Chief
Executive of the Government is a job that, aside from requiring all of the office
holder's time, also demands undivided attention.
The petitions fail to establish that public respondents, through their separate
acts, gravely abused their discretion as to amount to lack of jurisdiction. Hence, the
writs of certiorari and prohibition prayed for cannot issue.

WHEREFORE, finding no grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack

of jurisdiction on the part of the public respondents, the Court Resolved to DISMISS
the petitions in G. R. Nos. 82585, 82827 and 83979. The Order to maintain the status
quo contained in the Resolution of the Court en banc dated April 7, 1988 and
reiterated in the Resolution dated April 26, 1988 is LIFTED.
Determination of probable cause
People v. Vinecario, 420 SCRA 280 (2004)

FACTS: On the night of April 10, 1995, as about fifteen police officers were manning
a checkpoint at Ulas, Davao City pursuant to COMELEC Resolution No. 2735,
otherwise known as the COMELEC gun ban, a motorcycle with three men on board
namely appellant Victor Vinecario (Vinecario), Arnold Roble (Roble) Gerlyn Wates
(Wates) sped past of the police officers. When they were ordered to return to the
checkpoint, a police officer asked what the backpack contains which the appellants
answered that it was only a mat. The police officers suspected that it was a bomband
when appellant opened the bag it turns out that its contents were marijuana. The
three were then brought to the police station and later to Camp Catitipan and there
they were investigated by police officials without the assistance of counsel, following
which they were made to sign some documents which they were not allowed to
read. The Regional Trial Court rendered them guilty for transporting, possessing and
delivering prohibited drugs under Article IV of Republic Act No. 6425 (Dangerous
Drugs Act of 1972, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659), and imposing upon them
the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
ISSUE: Whether or not the search upon the appellants and the seizure of
the alleged1,700 grams of marijuana violated there constitutional right against
unreasonable search and seizure.

HELD: Although the general rule is that motorists and their vehicles as well as
pedestrians passing through checkpoints may only be subjected to a routine
inspection, vehicles may be stopped and extensively searched when there is
probable cause which justifies a reasonable belief of the men at the checkpoints that
either the motorist is a law offender or the contents of the vehicle are or have been
instruments of some offense. Warrantless search of the personal effects of an
accused has been declared by the Court as valid, because of existence of probable
cause, where the smell of marijuana emanated from a plastic bag owned by the
accused, or where the accused was acting suspiciously, and attempted to flee. In
light then of Vinecario et al.s speeding away after noticing the checkpoint and even
after having been flagged down by police officers, their suspicious and
nervous gestures when interrogated on the contents of the backpack which
they passed to one another, and the reply of Vinecario, when asked why he and his
co-appellants sped away from the checkpoint, that he was a member of the Philippine
Army, apparently in an attempt to dissuade the policemen from proceeding with their
inspection, there existed probable cause to justify a reasonable belief on the part of
the law enforcers that appellants were offenders of the law or that the contents of the
backpack were instruments of some offense.

Power of the Court

Pilapil v. Sandiganbayan, 221 SCRA 349 (1993)
Facts : Accused was congressman, who receive an L300 for ambulance in behalf of
the Municipality of Tigaon, Camarines Sur from PCSO. He did not deliver such
ambulance. The mayor of the municipality requested from PCSO and found out about
the donation. Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Francis Garchitorena, requested an
investigation. Preliminary investigation was conducted for Malversation of Public
Property under Art 217 of the RPC. Initially, Ombudsman Investigator recommended
malversation cannot prosper finding no probable cause but it was disapproved and
filing was recommended by the Asst. ombudsman. Until finally the crime charged is

for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 [ Being a public officer while in
the discharge of his official functions and taking advantage of his public position,
acted with manifest partiality and evident bad faith, did then and there willfully cause
undue injury and damage to the municipal govt] recommended by ombudsman
Vasquez. Warrant of arrest was issued, accused posted bail. Petitioner predicated his
motion to quash on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over his person because the
same was filed without probable cause. In addition thereto, petitioner cites the fact
that the information for violation of the Anti-Graft Law was filed although the complaint
upon which the preliminary investigation was conducted is for malversation. Accused
appealed the decision of the Sandiganbayan denying his quashal and
Issue : WON Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion in denying
petitioner's motion to quash and motion for reconsideration for lack of jurisdiction and
lack of preliminary investigation because the investigation was for malversation and
not for the specific charge of violation of Sec. 3(e), Republic Act No. 3019.
Ruling : No. The absence of preliminary investigation does not affect the court's
jurisdiction over the case. Nor do they impair the validity of the information or
otherwise render it defective, but, if there were no preliminary investigations and the
defendants, before entering their plea, invite the attention of the court to their
absence, the court, instead of dismissing the Information, should conduct such
investigation, order the fiscal to conduct it or remand the case to the inferior court so
that the preliminary investigation may be conducted. When the court has jurisdiction,
any irregularity in the exercise of that power is not a ground for a motion to quash.
Lack of jurisdiction is not waivable, but absence of preliminary investigation is
waivable. In fact, it is frequently waived. Preliminary investigation is merely
inquisitorial, and it is often the only means of discovering whether a person may be
reasonably charged with a crime, to enable the prosecutor to prepare his complaint or
information. The preliminary designation of the offense in the directive to file a
counter-affidavit and affidavits of one's witnesses is not conclusive. The real nature of
the criminal charge is determined not from the caption or preamble of the information
nor from the specification of the provision of law alleged to have been violated, they
being conclusions of law, but by the actual recital of facts in the complaint or
information . . . it is not the technical name given by the Fiscal appearing in the title of
the information that determines the character of the crime but the facts alleged in the
body of the Information. It is well-settled that the right to a preliminary investigation is

not a fundamental right and may be waived expressly or by silence. Failure of

accused to invoke his right to a preliminary investigation constituted a waiver of such
right and any irregularity that attended it. The right may be forfeited by inaction and
can no longer be invoked for the first time at the appellate level. Clearly, the alleged
lack of a valid preliminary investigation came only as an afterthought to gain a
reversal of the denial of the motion to quash. The court should not be guided by the
rule that accused must be shown to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but rather
whether there is sufficient evidence to believe that the act or omission complained of
constitutes the offense charged. The determination of the crime and the matters of
defense can be best passed upon during a full-blown trial.
What constitutes searching questions
Luna v. Plaza, 26 SCRA 310 (1968)
CrimPro (Arrest)
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien
Motion to Quash Information; Preliminary Investigation/Reinvestigation
J. Zaldivar (1968)
This is an appeal from the decision of CFI Surigao del Sur dismissing the petition for
a writ of
habeas corpus
filed by herein petitioner-appellant Simon LUNA who was charged with murder
This petition stemmed from a criminal action commenced by the Phil. Constabulary
investigator of Tandag, Surigao delSur when he filed with respondent MTC Judge
Lorenzo PLAZA a criminal case charging LUNA with the crime of murder
Supporting the complaint/information were sworn statements of the witnesses for the
prosecution, subscribed and sworn to before the respondent Judge at the time of the
filing of the complaint
Judge PLAZA examined the prosecution witnesses by reading to them "all over again
the questions and answers" in their statements in writing, and the witnesses-affiants

declared before said Judge that the averments contained in their affidavits were
made by them. They also swore to the truth thereof. Thereafter, they signed their
respective affidavits int he presence of Judge PLAZA, who also signed after the usual
procedure of administering the oath
Considering the averments in these affidavits, the stipulation in the
complaint/information and on the strength of other documentary evidence submitted
to him (medico-legal report, sketches of the crime scene, etc.), Judge PLAZA found
probable cause and issued the warrant of arrest, specifying therein that no bail is
fixed for the provisional release of the accused
However, upon motion from LUNA, Judge PLAZA granted bail at P30,000, which,
however was later revoked, in effect again denying LUNA bail
Thereafter, LUNA waived his right to PI. Hence, the case was remanded to the CFI of
Surigao del Sur for hearing after the Provincial Fiscal filed the necessary information
charging LUNA with the crime of murder
On April 1967, LUNA filed a petition for a writ of
Habeascorpus with the CFI of Surigao del Sur, claiming that he wasbeing deprived
of liberty without the due process of law, onthe ground that the imprisonment and
detention was theresult of a warrant of arrest issued by respondent Judge inviolation
of RA 3828, and praying for the annulment of theorder for his arrest and his discharge
from confinement
Herein respondents (Judge PLAZA, the jail warden and thecity fiscal) all answered
said petition and alleged that theprovisions of RA 3828 (Amendment to the Judiciary
Act) have been complied with
Respondents also averred that a motion to quash, and not apetition for
habeas corpus was the proper remedy for LUNA;but that LUNA's application for bail
constituted a waiver of the right to question the validity of the arrest
As stated, the CFI ruled against LUNA and rendered herein assailed decision denying
his petition for habeas corpus,hence this appeal
WON CFI erred in denying the writ of habeas corpus

NO! LUNAs appeal is devoid of merit. Perforce, the decision of the CFI of Surigao del Sur is

Consequently, this conduct of LUNA indicates that he had waived his objection to
whatever defect, if any, in the preliminary examination conducted by respondent
Judge PLAZA prior to the issuance of the warrant of arrest

On Compliance with RA 3828 and the Constitution
In this appeal, LUNA assails the conduct of the preliminary
examination by Judge PLAZA as being irregular as far as RA
3828 is concerned, hence, the warrant of arrest which issued therefrom is also

Also, no substantial right of LUNA had been violated precisely because he has
waived his right to preliminary investigation after he was arrested, and that he took
the step of applying for bail before respondent Municipal Judge constitute an implied
admission on his part that here was a probable cause for the issuance of the warrant
of arrest against him. Those acts of the petitioner constitute a waiver of whatever
irregularity, if any there was, that attended his arrest
Quashal and not Habeas Corpus is the Proper Remedy

According to RA 3828 (Judiciary Act), judges doing preliminary examination for
purposes of issuing warrants of
arrests are required to personally examine (i.e. ask
searching questions) the complainant and her witnesses under oath; and then reduce
the same into writing (i.e. to make part of the records such examination)
On the other hand, Art III, Sec 1 (3) of the 1935 Const.provides that no warrant shall
issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge after examination
under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce
A perusal of the records of the case would lead to theconclusion that Judge PLAZA
substantially complied with thepreceding requirements of the Constitution and the
law(refer to statement of facts)
No Denial of Due Process and Waiver of Rights
Preliminary examination/investigation is not an essential part of due process of law.
This is evidenced by the fact that our rules of criminal procedure allow its waiver.
Therefor,when it is forgone for the reason thus stated, the same does not constitute a
denial of due process. It is merely a statutory right
As borne by the records, LUNA waived his right to the preliminary examination when
he filed a petition for bail

The remedy available to the petitioner LUNA, under the circumstances of this case, is
not a petition for a writ of
habeas corpusbut a petition to quash the warrant of arrest or a petition for a
reinvestigation of the case by the respondent Municipal Judge PLAZA or by the
Provincial Fiscal