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G.R.No.197788.February29,2012.

*
RODEL LUZ y ONG, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES,1respondent.

Constitutional Law Criminal Procedure Arrests Land


TransportationandTrafficCode(R.A.No.4136)UnderR.A.4136,orthe
Land Transportation and Traffic Code, the general procedure for dealing
withatrafficviolationisnotthearrestoftheoffender,buttheconfiscation
of the drivers license of the latter.Arrest is the taking of a person into
custodyinorderthatheorshemaybeboundtoanswerforthecommission
ofanoffense.Itiseffectedbyanactualrestraintofthepersontobearrested
or by that persons voluntary submission to the custody of the one making
the arrest. Neither the application of actual force, manual touching of the
body,orphysicalrestraint,noraformaldeclarationofarrest,isrequired.It
isenoughthattherebeanintentiononthepartofoneofthepartiestoarrest
theother,andthattherebeanintentonthepartoftheothertosubmit,under
thebeliefandimpressionthatsubmissionisnecessary.UnderR.A.4136,or
theLandTransportationandTrafficCode,thegeneralprocedurefordealing
withatrafficviolationisnotthearrestoftheoffender,buttheconfiscation
of the drivers license of the latter: SECTION 29. ConfiscationofDrivers
License.Law enforcement and peace officers of other agencies duly
deputizedbytheDirectorshall,inapprehendingadriverforanyviolationof
this Act or any regulations issued pursuant thereto, or of local traffic rules
and regulations not contrary to any provisions of this Act, confiscate the
license of the driver concerned and issue a receipt prescribed and issued by
the Bureau therefor which shall authorize the driver to operate a motor
vehicleforaperiodnotexceedingseventytwohoursfromthetimeanddate
ofissueofsaidreceipt.The

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*SECONDDIVISION.

1 The Petition was originally captioned as Rodel Luz y Ong v. Hon. Court of Appeals,
Hon.PresidingJudge,RegionalTrialCourt,Branch21,NagaCity.However,underSection
4,Rule45oftheRulesofCourt,thepetitionmuststatethefullnameoftheappealingpartyas
the petitioner and the adverse party as respondent, without impleading the lower courts or
judgesthereofeitheraspetitionersorrespondents.

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422 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Luizvs.People

periodsofixedinthereceiptshallnotbeextended,andshallbecomeinvalid
thereafter.Failureofthedrivertosettlehiscasewithinfifteendaysfromthe
date of apprehension will be a ground for the suspension and/or revocation
ofhislicense.
Same Same Same Same Procedure Being Observed in Flagging
Down Vehicles During the Conduct of Checkpoints.The Philippine
National Police (PNP) Operations Manualprovides the following procedure
forflaggingdownvehiclesduringtheconductofcheckpoints:SECTION7.
Procedure in Flagging Down or Accosting Vehicles While in Mobile Car.
This rule is a general concept and will not apply in hot pursuit operations.
Themobilecarcrewshallundertakethefollowing,whenapplicable:xxxm.
If it concerns traffic violations, immediately issue a Traffic Citation Ticket
(TCT) or Traffic Violation Report (TVR). Never indulge in prolonged,
unnecessaryconversationorargumentwiththedriveroranyofthevehicles
occupants.
Same Same Same Same Custodial Interrogation The roadside
questioning of a motorist does not fall under custodial interrogation, nor
canitbeconsideredaformalarrest.InBerkemerv.McCarty, the United
States (U.S.) Supreme Court discussed at length whether the roadside
questioning of a motorist detained pursuant to a routine traffic stop should
beconsideredcustodialinterrogation.TheCourtheldthat,suchquestioning
doesnotfallundercustodialinterrogation,norcanitbeconsideredaformal
arrest, by virtue of the nature of the questioning, the expectations of the
motoristandtheofficer,andthelengthoftimetheprocedureisconducted.
SameSameSameSameAtthetimeapersonisarrested,itshallbe
the duty of the arresting officer to inform the latter of the reason for the
arrestandmustshowthatpersonthewarrantofarrest,ifany.ThisCourt
has held that at the time a person is arrested, it shall be the duty of the
arresting officer to inform the latter of the reason for the arrest and must
showthatpersonthewarrantofarrest,ifany.Personsshallbeinformedof
their constitutional rights to remain silent and to counsel, and that any
statementtheymightmakecouldbeusedagainstthem.Itmayalsobenoted
thatinthiscase,theseconstitutionalrequirementswerecompliedwithbythe
policeofficersonlyafter petitioner had been arrested for illegal possession
ofdangerousdrugs.

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VOL.667,FEBRUARY29,2012 423

Luizvs.People

Same Same Same Same Miranda Doctrine In Berkemer vs.


McCarty, 468 U.S. 420 (1984), the U.S. Court noted that the Miranda
warnings must also be given to a person apprehended due to a traffic
violation.In Berkemer, the U.S. Court also noted that the Miranda
warnings must also be given to a person apprehended due to a traffic
violation: The purposes of the safeguards prescribed by Miranda are to
ensurethatthepolicedonotcoerceortrickcaptivesuspectsintoconfessing,
to relieve the inherently compelling pressures generated by the custodial
settingitself,whichworktounderminetheindividualswilltoresist,and
as much as possible to free courts from the task of scrutinizing individual
casestotrytodetermine,afterthefact,whetherparticularconfessionswere
voluntary.Thosepurposesareimplicatedasmuchbyincustodyquestioning
ofpersonssuspectedofmisdemeanorsastheyarebyquestioningofpersons
suspected of felonies. If it were true that petitioner was already deemed
arrestedwhenhewasflaggeddownforatrafficviolationandwhilehewas
waiting for his ticket, then there would have been no need for him to be
arrestedforasecondtimeafterthepoliceofficersallegedlydiscoveredthe
drugsashewasalreadyintheircustody.
Same Same Same Same Warrantless Searches Instances When a
Warrantless Search is Allowed.The following are the instances when a
warrantlesssearchisallowed:(i)awarrantlesssearchincidentaltoalawful
arrest (ii) search of evidence in plain view (iii) search of a moving
vehicle (iv) consented warrantless search (v) customs search (vi) a stop
and frisk search and (vii) exigent and emergency circumstances. None of
theabovementionedinstances,especiallyasearchincidenttoalawfularrest,
areapplicabletothiscase.
SameSameSameSameSameWhetherconsenttothesearchwasin
fact voluntary is a question of fact to be determined from the totality of all
thecircumstances.Whetherconsenttothesearchwasinfactvoluntaryisa
question of fact to be determined from the totality of all the circumstances.
Relevanttothisdeterminationarethefollowingcharacteristicsoftheperson
givingconsentandtheenvironmentinwhichconsentisgiven:(1)theageof
the defendant (2) whether the defendant was in a public or a secluded
location(3)whetherthedefendantobjectedtothesearchorpassivelylooked
on(4)theeducationandintelligenceofthedefendant(5)thepresence

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424 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED

Luizvs.People

ofcoercivepoliceprocedures(6)thedefendantsbeliefthatnoincriminating
evidence would be found (7) the nature of the police questioning (8) the
environment in which the questioning took place and (9) the possibly
vulnerable subjective state of the person consenting. It is the State that has
the burden of proving, by clear and positive testimony, that the necessary
consentwasobtained,andwasfreelyandvoluntarilygiven.Inthiscase,all
thatwasallegedwasthatpetitionerwasaloneatthepolicestationatthreein
the morning, accompanied by several police officers. These circumstances
weighheavilyagainstafindingofvalidconsenttoawarrantlesssearch.
SameSameSameSameStopandFriskThestopandfriskismerely
alimitedprotectivesearchofouterclothingforweapons.Neitherdoesthe
search qualify under the stop and frisk rule. While the rule normally
applieswhenapoliceofficerobservessuspiciousorunusualconduct,which
mayleadhimtobelievethatacriminalactmaybeafoot,thestopandfriskis
merelyalimitedprotectivesearchofouterclothingforweapons.
SameSameSameSameWarrantlessSearchesInKnowlesv.Iowa,
525U.S.113(1998),theU.S.SupremeCourtheldthatwhenapoliceofficer
stopsapersonforspeedingandcorrespondinglyissuesacitationinsteadof
arrestingthelatter,thisproceduredoesnotauthorizetheofficertoconduct
afullsearchofthecar.InKnowlesv.Iowa,the U.S. Supreme Court held
that when a police officer stops a person for speeding and correspondingly
issues a citation instead of arresting the latter, this procedure does not
authorize the officer to conduct a full search of the car. The Court therein
held that there was no justification for a fullblown search when the officer
does not arrest the motorist. Instead, police officers may only conduct
minimal intrusions, such as ordering the motorist to alight from the car or
doingapatdown.
SameSameSameSameTheConstitutionguaranteestherightofthe
people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against
unreasonablesearchesandseizures.TheConstitutionguaranteestheright
ofthepeopletobesecureintheirpersons,houses,papersandeffectsagainst
unreasonable searches and seizures.Any evidence obtained in violation of
saidrightshallbeinadmissibleforanypurposeinanyproceeding.Whilethe
powerto

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VOL.667,FEBRUARY29,2012 425

Luizvs.People

searchandseizemayattimesbenecessarytothepublicwelfare,stillitmust
beexercisedandthelawimplementedwithoutcontraveningtheconstitutional
rights of citizens, for the enforcement of no statute is of sufficient
importancetojustifyindifferencetothebasicprinciplesofgovernment.

PETITIONforreviewoncertiorariofthedecisionandresolutionof
theCourtofAppeals.
ThefactsarestatedintheopinionoftheCourt.
RodolfoR.Ranionforpetitioner.
OfficeoftheSolicitorGeneralforrespondent.

SERENO,J.:
ThisisaPetitionforReviewonCertiorariunderRule45seeking
tosetasidetheCourtofAppeals(CA)DecisioninCAG.R.CRNo.
32516dated18February20112andResolutiondated8July2011.

StatementoftheFactsandoftheCase

The facts, as found by the Regional Trial Court (RTC), which


sustainedtheversionoftheprosecution,areasfollows:

PO2 Emmanuel L. Alteza, who was then assigned at the SubStation 1


of the Naga City Police Station as a traffic enforcer, substantially testified
that on March 10, 2003 at around 3:00 oclock in the morning, he saw the
accused,whowascomingfromthedirectionofPanganibanDriveandgoing
to Diversion Road, Naga City, driving a motorcycle without a helmet that
this prompted him to flag down the accused for violating a municipal
ordinance which requires all motorcycle drivers to wear helmet (sic) while
driving said motor vehicle that he invited the accused to come inside their
substation since the place where he flagged down the accused is almost in
front

_______________
2Penned by Associate Justice Ricardo R. Rosario and concurred in by Associate Justices
HakimS.AbdulwahidandSamuelH.Gaerlan.

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426 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Luizvs.People

of the said substation that while he and SPO1 Rayford Brillante were
issuingacitationticketforviolationofmunicipalordinance,henoticedthat
the accused was uneasy and kept on getting something from his jacket that
he was alerted and so, he told the accused to take out the contents of the
pocket of his jacket as the latter may have a weapon inside it that the
accused obliged and slowly put out the contents of the pocket of his jacket
which was a nickellike tin or metal container about two (2) to three (3)
inchesinsize,includingtwo(2)cellphones,one(1)pairofscissorsandone
(1)Swissknifethatuponseeingthesaidcontainer,heaskedtheaccusedto
open it that after the accused opened the container, he noticed a cartoon
cover and something beneath it and that upon his instruction, the accused
spilled out the contents of the container on the table which turned out to be
four(4)plasticsachets,thetwo(2)ofwhichwereemptywhiletheothertwo
(2)containedsuspectedshabu.3

Arraignedon2July2003,petitioner,assistedbycounsel,entered
a plea of Not guilty to the charge of illegal possession of
dangerous drugs. Pretrial was terminated on 24 September 2003,
afterwhich,trialensued.
During trial, Police Officer 3 (PO3) Emmanuel Alteza and a
forensic chemist testified for the prosecution. On the other hand,
petitionertestifiedforhimselfandraisedthedefenseofplantingof
evidenceandextortion.
Inits19February2009Decision,4theRTCconvictedpetitioner
of illegal possession of dangerous drugs5 committed on 10 March
2003. It found the prosecution evidence sufficient to show that he
hadbeenlawfullyarrestedforatrafficviolationandthensubjected
to a valid search, which led to the discovery on his person of two
plasticsachetslaterfoundtocontainshabu.TheRTCalsofoundhis
defenseofframeupandextor

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3Rollo,p.91.
4DocketedasCriminalCaseNo.RTC20030087Rollo,pp.90102.
5SeeSection11,RepublicActNo.(R.A.)9165,ortheComprehensiveDangerous
DrugsActof2002.

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VOL.667,FEBRUARY29,2012 427
Luizvs.People

tion to be weak, selfserving and unsubstantiated. The dispositive


portionofitsDecisionheld:

WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered, finding accused RODEL


LUZyONGGUILTYbeyondreasonabledoubtforthecrimeofviolationof
Section11,ArticleIIofRepublicActNo.9165andsentencinghimtosuffer
the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment ranging from twelve (12) years
and(1)day,asminimum,tothirteen(13)years,asmaximum,andtopaya
fineofThreeHundredThousandPesos(P300,000.00).
The subject shabu is hereby confiscated for turn over to the Philippine
Drug Enforcement Agency for its proper disposition and destruction in
accordancewithlaw.
SOORDERED.6

Uponreview,theCAaffirmedtheRTCsDecision.
On12September2011,petitionerfiledunderRule45theinstant
Petition for Review on Certiorari dated 1 September 2011. In a
Resolutiondated12October2011,thisCourtrequiredrespondentto
fileacommentonthePetition.On4January2012,thelatterfiledits
Commentdated3January2012.
PetitionerraisedthefollowinggroundsinsupportofhisPetition:
(i)THESEARCHANDSEIZUREOFTHEALLEGEDSUBJECTSHABU
ISINVALID.
(ii)THE PRESUMPTION OF REGULARITY IN THE PERFORMANCE
OFDUTYOFTHEPOLICEOFFICERCANNOTBERELIEDUPON
INTHISCASE.
(iii)THEINTEGRITYANDEVIDENTIARYVALUEOFTHEALLEGED
SUBJECTSPECIMENHASBEENCOMPROMISED.

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6Rollo,p.101.

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428 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Luizvs.People

(iv)THEGUILTOFTHEACCUSEDPETITIONERWASNOTPROVEN
BEYONDTHEREASONABLEDOUBT(sic).7

Petitioner claims that there was no lawful search and seizure,


because there was no lawful arrest. He claims that the finding that
there was a lawful arrest was erroneous, since he was not even
issued a citation ticket or charged with violation of the city
ordinance.Evenassumingtherewasavalidarrest,heclaimsthathe
hadneverconsentedtothesearchconducteduponhim.
On the other hand, finding that petitioner had been lawfully
arrested,theRTCheldthus:

Itisbeyonddisputethattheaccusedwasflaggeddownandapprehended
in this case by Police Officers Alteza and Brillante for violation of City
Ordinance No. 98012, an ordinance requiring the use of crash helmet by
motorcycle drivers and riders thereon in the City of Naga and prescribing
penaltiesforviolationthereof.Theaccusedhimselfadmittedthathewasnot
wearing a helmet at the time when he was flagged down by the said police
officers, albeit he had a helmet in his possession. Obviously, there is legal
basis on the part of the apprehending officers to flag down and arrest the
accusedbecausethelatterwasactuallycommittingacrimeintheirpresence,
that is, a violation of City Ordinance No. 98012. In other words, the
accused, being caught in flagrante delicto violating the said Ordinance, he
couldthereforebelawfullystoppedorarrestedbytheapprehendingofficers.
xxx.8

WefindthePetitiontobeimpressedwithmerit,butnotforthe
particular reasons alleged. In criminal cases, an appeal throws the
entire case wide open for review and the reviewing tribunal can
correcterrors,thoughunassignedintheappealedjudgment,oreven
reversethetrialcourtsdecision

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7Rollo,p.23.
8Id.,atp.96.
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VOL.667,FEBRUARY29,2012 429
Luizvs.People

basedongroundsotherthanthosethatthepartiesraisedaserrors.9
First, there was no valid arrest of petitioner. When he was
flagged down for committing a traffic violation, he was not, ipso
factoandsolelyforthisreason,arrested.
Arrest is the taking of a person into custody in order that he or
shemaybeboundtoanswerforthecommissionofanoffense.10Itis
effectedbyanactualrestraintofthepersontobearrestedorbythat
personsvoluntarysubmissiontothecustodyoftheonemakingthe
arrest. Neither the application of actual force, manual touching of
thebody,orphysicalrestraint,noraformaldeclarationofarrest,is
required.Itisenoughthattherebeanintentiononthepartofoneof
thepartiestoarresttheother,andthattherebeanintentonthepart
of the other to submit, under the belief and impression that
submissionisnecessary.11
Under R.A. 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code,
the general procedure for dealing with a traffic violation is not the
arrestoftheoffender,buttheconfiscationofthedriverslicenseof
thelatter:

SECTION29.Confiscation of Drivers License.Law enforcement


andpeaceofficersofotheragenciesdulydeputizedbytheDirectorshall,in
apprehendingadriverforanyviolationofthisActoranyregulationsissued
pursuantthereto,oroflocaltrafficrulesandregulationsnotcontrarytoany
provisions of this Act, confiscate the license of the driver concerned and
issue a receipt prescribed and issued by the Bureau therefor which shall
authorize the driver to operate a motor vehicle for a period not exceeding
seventytwohoursfromthetimeanddateofissueofsaidreceipt.Theperiod
so fixed in the receipt shall not be extended, and shall become invalid
thereafter.Failureofthedrivertosettlehiscasewithinfifteendaysfrom

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9Peoplev.Saludes,452Phil.719,728403SCRA590,597598(2003).
10RC,Rule113,Sec.1.
11Peoplev.Milado,462Phil.411417SCRA16(2003).

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Luizvs.People

the date of apprehension will be a ground for the suspension and/or


revocationofhislicense.
Similarly, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Operations
Manual12 provides the following procedure for flagging down
vehiclesduringtheconductofcheckpoints:

SECTION7.ProcedureinFlaggingDownorAccostingVehiclesWhilein
Mobile Car. This rule is a general concept and will not apply in hot pursuit
operations.Themobilecarcrewshallundertakethefollowing,whenapplicable:
xxx
m.If it concerns traffic violations, immediately issue a Traffic Citation Ticket
(TCT) or Traffic Violation Report (TVR). Never indulge in prolonged,
unnecessaryconversationorargumentwiththedriveroranyofthevehicles
occupants

At the time that he was waiting for PO3 Alteza to write his
citation ticket, petitioner could not be said to have been under
arrest. There was no intention on the part of PO3 Alteza to arrest
him,deprivehimofhisliberty,ortakehimintocustody.Priortothe
issuanceoftheticket,theperiodduringwhichpetitionerwasatthe
policestationmaybecharacterizedmerelyaswaitingtime.Infact,
asfoundbythetrialcourt,PO3Altezahimselftestifiedthattheonly
reason they went to the police substation was that petitioner had
been flagged down almost in front of that place. Hence, it was
onlyforthesakeofconveniencethattheywerewaitingthere.There
wasnointentiontotakepetitionerintocustody.
In Berkemer v. McCarty,13 the United States (U.S.) Supreme
Court discussed at length whether the roadside questioning of a
motorist detained pursuant to a routine traffic stop should be
considered custodial interrogation. The Court held that, such
questioningdoesnotfallundercustodialinterrogation,norcanitbe
consideredaformalarrest,byvirtueofthenatureofthequestioning,
theexpectationsofthemo

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12PNPMDODS31datedMarch2010.
13468U.S.420(1984).

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VOL.667,FEBRUARY29,2012 431
Luizvs.People

torist and the officer, and the length of time the procedure is
conducted.Itruledasfollows:

It must be acknowledged at the outset that a traffic stop significantly


curtails the freedom of action of the driver and the passengers, if any, of
the detained vehicle. Under the law of most States, it is a crime either to
ignore a policemans signal to stop ones car or, once having stopped, to
driveawaywithoutpermission.xxx
However, we decline to accord talismanic power to the phrase in the
Miranda opinion emphasized by respondent. Fidelity to the doctrine
announcedinMirandarequiresthatitbeenforcedstrictly,butonlyinthose
types of situations in which the concerns that powered the decision are
implicated. Thus, we must decide whether a traffic stop exerts upon a
detained person pressures that sufficiently impair his free exercise of his
privilege against selfincrimination to require that he be warned of his
constitutionalrights.
Twofeaturesofanordinarytrafficstopmitigatethedangerthataperson
questioned will be induced to speak where he would not otherwise do so
freely, Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S., at 467. First, detention of a
motorist pursuant to a traffic stop is presumptively temporary and
brief.The vast majority of roadside detentions last only a few minutes. A
motorists expectations, when he sees a policemans light flashing behind
him, are that he will be obliged to spend a short period of time answering
questions and waiting while the officer checks his license and registration,
thathemaythenbegivenacitation,butthatintheendhemostlikelywillbe
allowed to continue on his way. In this respect, questioning incident to an
ordinarytrafficstopisquitedifferentfromstationhouseinterrogation,which
frequently is prolonged, and in which the detainee often is aware that
questioningwillcontinueuntilheprovideshisinterrogatorstheanswersthey
seek.Seeid.,at451.
Second,circumstancesassociatedwiththetypicaltrafficstoparenot
suchthatthemotoristfeelscompletelyatthemercyofthepolice.Tobe
sure,theauraofauthoritysurroundinganarmed,uniformedofficerandthe
knowledgethattheofficerhassomediscretionindecidingwhethertoissuea
citation, in combination, exert some pressure on the detainee to respond to
questions.Butotheraspectsofthesituationsubstantiallyoffsettheseforces.
Perhapsmostimportantly,thetypicaltrafficstopispublic,atleasttosome
degree.xxx

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Luizvs.People

Inbothoftheserespects,theusualtrafficstopismoreanalogoustoa
socalled Terry stop, see Terry v. Ohio, 392 U. S. 1 (1968), than to a
formal arrest. x x x The comparatively nonthreatening character of
detentionsofthissortexplainstheabsenceofanysuggestioninouropinions
that Terry stops are subject to the dictates of Miranda. The similarly
noncoerciveaspectofordinarytrafficstopspromptsustoholdthatpersons
temporarily detained pursuant to such stops are not in custody for the
purposesofMiranda.
xxxxxxxxx
Weareconfidentthatthestateofaffairsprojectedbyrespondentwillnot
cometopass.ItissettledthatthesafeguardsprescribedbyMirandabecome
applicableassoonasasuspectsfreedomofactioniscurtailedtoadegree
associated with formal arrest. California v. Beheler, 463 U.S. 1121, 1125
(1983) (per curiam). If a motorist who has been detained pursuant to a
trafficstopthereafterissubjectedtotreatmentthatrendershimincustody
forpractical purposes, he will be entitled to the full panoply of protections
prescribedbyMiranda.SeeOregonv.Mathiason,429U.S.492,495(1977)
(percuriam).(Emphasissupplied.)

The U.S. Court in Berkemer thus ruled that, since the motorist
therein was only subjected to modest questions while still at the
scene of the traffic stop, he was not at that moment placed under
custody (such that he should have been apprised of his Miranda
rights),andneithercantreatmentofthissortbefairlycharacterized
asthefunctionalequivalentofaformalarrest.Similarly,neithercan
petitioner here be considered under arrest at the time that his
trafficcitationwasbeingmade.
It also appears that, according to City Ordinance No. 98012,
whichwasviolatedbypetitioner,thefailuretowearacrashhelmet
while riding a motorcycle is penalized by a fine only. Under the
Rules of Court, a warrant of arrest need not be issued if the
information or charge was filed for an offense penalized by a fine
only. It may be stated as a corollary that neither can a warrantless
arrestbemadeforsuchanoffense.

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VOL.667,FEBRUARY29,2012 433
Luizvs.People

Thisrulingdoesnotimplythattherecanbenoarrestforatraffic
violation.Certainly,whenthereisanintentonthepartofthepolice
officer to deprive the motorist of liberty, or to take the latter into
custody,theformermaybedeemedtohavearrestedthemotorist.In
thiscase,however,theofficersissuance(orintenttoissue)atraffic
citation ticket negates the possibility of an arrest for the same
violation.
Even if one were to work under the assumption that
petitionerwasdeemedarresteduponbeingflaggeddownfora
traffic violation and while awaiting the issuance of his ticket,
thentherequirementsforavalidarrestwerenotcompliedwith.
ThisCourthasheldthatatthetimeapersonisarrested,itshall
bethedutyofthearrestingofficertoinformthelatterofthereason
forthearrestandmustshowthatpersonthewarrantofarrest,ifany.
Persons shall be informed of their constitutional rights to remain
silentandtocounsel,andthatanystatementtheymightmakecould
beusedagainstthem.14Itmayalsobenotedthatinthiscase,these
constitutional requirements were complied with by the police
officersonlyafterpetitionerhadbeenarrestedforillegalpossession
ofdangerousdrugs.
In Berkemer, the U.S. Court also noted that the Miranda
warningsmustalsobegiventoapersonapprehendedduetoatraffic
violation:

ThepurposesofthesafeguardsprescribedbyMirandaaretoensurethat
the police do not coerce or trick captive suspects into confessing, to relieve
the inherently compelling pressures generated by the custodial setting
itself, which work to undermine the individuals will to resist, and as
muchaspossibletofreecourtsfromthetaskofscrutinizingindividualcases
to try to determine, after the fact, whether particular confessions were
voluntary.Thosepurposesareimplicatedasmuchbyincustodyquestioning
ofper

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14Morales,Jr.v.Enrile,206Phil.466121SCRA538(1983).

434

434 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Luizvs.People

sons suspected of misdemeanors as they are by questioning of persons


suspectedoffelonies.

If it were true that petitioner was already deemed arrested


whenhewasflaggeddownforatrafficviolationandwhilehewas
waitingforhisticket,thentherewouldhavebeennoneedforhimto
be arrested for a second timeafter the police officers allegedly
discoveredthedrugsashewasalreadyintheircustody.
Second, there being no valid arrest, the warrantless search
thatresultedfromitwaslikewiseillegal.
The following are the instances when a warrantless search is
allowed: (i) a warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest (ii)
searchofevidenceinplainview(iii)searchofamovingvehicle
(iv) consented warrantless search (v) customs search (vi) a stop
andfrisksearchand(vii)exigentandemergencycircumstances.15
Noneoftheabovementionedinstances,especiallyasearchincident
toalawfularrest,areapplicabletothiscase.
Itmustbenotedthattheevidenceseized,althoughallegedtobe
inadvertently discovered, was not in plain view. It was actually
concealed inside a metal container inside petitioners pocket.
Clearly,theevidencewasnotimmediatelyapparent.16
Neither was there a consented warrantless search. Consent to a
search is not to be lightly inferred, but shown by clear and
convincingevidence.17 It must be voluntary in order to validate an
otherwise illegal search that is, the consent must be unequivocal,
specific, intelligently given and uncontaminated by any duress or
coercion.Whiletheprosecutionclaimsthatpetitioneraccededtothe
instructionofPO3Alteza,this

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15Peoplev.Bolasa,378Phil.1073,10781079321SCRA459,464465(1999).
16SeePeoplev.Macalaba,443Phil.565395SCRA461(2003).
17Caballesv.CourtofAppeals,424Phil.263373SCRA221(2002).

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VOL.667,FEBRUARY29,2012 435
Luizvs.People

alleged accession does not suffice to prove valid and intelligent


consent.Infact,theRTCfoundthatpetitionerwasmerelytoldto
takeoutthecontentsofhispocket.18
Whetherconsenttothesearchwasinfactvoluntaryisaquestion
of fact to be determined from the totality of all the circumstances.
Relevant to this determination are the following characteristics of
thepersongivingconsentandtheenvironmentinwhichconsentis
given:(1)theageofthedefendant(2)whetherthedefendantwasin
apublicorasecludedlocation(3)whetherthedefendantobjected
to the search or passively looked on (4) the education and
intelligence of the defendant (5) the presence of coercive police
procedures(6)thedefendantsbeliefthatnoincriminatingevidence
would be found (7) the nature of the police questioning (8) the
environment in which the questioning took place and (9) the
possibly vulnerable subjective state of the person consenting. It is
the State that has the burden of proving, by clear and positive
testimony, that the necessary consent was obtained, and was freely
and voluntarily given.19 In this case, all that was alleged was that
petitioner was alone at the police station at three in the morning,
accompaniedbyseveralpoliceofficers.Thesecircumstancesweigh
heavilyagainstafindingofvalidconsenttoawarrantlesssearch.
Neither does the search qualify under the stop and frisk rule.
While the rule normally applies when a police officer observes
suspiciousorunusualconduct,whichmayleadhimtobelievethata
criminal act may be afoot, the stop and frisk is merely a limited
protectivesearchofouterclothingforweapons.20

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18RTCDecision,Rollo,p.91.
19Caballesv.CourtofAppeals,424Phil.263373SCRA221(2002).
20Peoplev.SyChua,444Phil.757396SCRA657(2003).

436
436 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Luizvs.People

InKnowlesv.Iowa,21theU.S.SupremeCourtheldthatwhena
policeofficerstopsapersonforspeedingandcorrespondinglyissues
a citation instead of arresting the latter, this procedure does not
authorize the officer to conduct a full search of the car. The Court
therein held that there was no justification for a fullblown search
whentheofficerdoesnotarrestthemotorist.Instead,policeofficers
mayonlyconductminimalintrusions,suchasorderingthemotorist
toalightfromthecarordoingapatdown:

In Robinson, supra, we noted the two historical rationales for the


search incident to arrest exception: (1) the need to disarm the suspect in
ordertotakehimintocustody,and(2)theneedtopreserveevidenceforlater
use at trial. x x x But neither of these underlying rationales for the search
incident to arrest exception is sufficient to justify the search in the present
case.
We have recognized that the first rationaleofficer safetyis both
legitimate and weighty, x x x The threat to officer safety from issuing a
traffic citation, however, is a good deal less than in the case of a custodial
arrest.InRobinson, we stated that a custodial arrest involves danger to an
officer because of the extended exposure which follows the taking of a
suspectintocustodyandtransportinghimtothepolicestation.414U.S.,at
234235. We recognized that [t]he danger to the police officer flows from
thefactofthearrest,anditsattendantproximity,stress,anduncertainty,and
notfromthegroundsforarrest.Id.,at234,n.5.Aroutinetrafficstop,on
theotherhand,isarelativelybriefencounterandismoreanalogousto
a socalled Terry stop . . . than to a formal arrest. Berkemer v.
McCarty, 468 U.S. 420, 439 (1984). See also Cupp v. Murphy, 412 U.S.
291,296(1973)(Wherethereisnoformalarrest...apersonmightwell
be less hostile to the police and less likely to take conspicuous, immediate
stepstodestroyincriminatingevidence).
Thisisnottosaythattheconcernforofficersafetyisabsentinthe
caseofaroutinetrafficstop.Itplainlyisnot.SeeMimms,supra,at110
Wilson,supra,at413414.Butwhiletheconcernforofficersafetyinthis
contextmayjustifythe

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21525U.S.113(1998).

437

VOL.667,FEBRUARY29,2012 437
Luizvs.People

minimaladditionalintrusionoforderingadriverandpassengersout
of the car, it does not by itself justify the often considerably greater
intrusion attending a full fieldtype search. Even without the search
authority Iowa urges, officers have other, independent bases to search for
weapons and protect themselves from danger. For example, they may order
outofavehicleboththedriver,Mimms,supra,at111,andanypassengers,
Wilson,supra,at414performapatdownofadriverandanypassengers
upon reasonable suspicion that they may be armed and dangerous, Terry v.
Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968) conduct a Terry patdown of the passenger
compartment of a vehicle upon reasonable suspicion that an occupant is
dangerousandmaygainimmediatecontrolofaweapon,Michigan v. Long,
463U.S.1032,1049(1983)andevenconductafullsearchofthepassenger
compartment,includinganycontainerstherein,pursuanttoacustodialarrest,
NewYorkv.Belton,453U.S.454,460(1981).
Norhas Iowa shown the second justification for the authority to search
incident to arrestthe need to discover and preserve evidence. Once
Knowles was stopped for speeding and issued a citation, all the evidence
necessarytoprosecutethatoffensehadbeenobtained.Nofurtherevidenceof
excessive speed was going to be found either on the person of the offender
orinthepassengercompartmentofthecar.(Emphasissupplied.)

Theforegoingconsidered,petitionermustbeacquitted.Whilehe
mayhavefailedtoobjecttotheillegalityofhisarrestattheearliest
opportunity, a waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not,
however, mean a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized
duringtheillegalwarrantlessarrest.22
TheConstitutionguaranteestherightofthepeopletobesecure
in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable
searchesandseizures.23Anyevidenceobtainedinviolationofsaid
rightshallbeinadmissibleforanypurposeinanyproceeding.While
thepowertosearchandseizemay

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22Peoplev.Lapitaje,445Phil.729397SCRA674(2003).
231987Const.,Art.III,Sec.2.

438

438 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Luizvs.People

attimesbenecessarytothepublicwelfare,stillitmustbeexercised
and the law implemented without contravening the constitutional
rights of citizens, for the enforcement of no statute is of sufficient
importance to justify indifference to the basic principles of
government.24
The subject items seized during the illegal arrest are
inadmissible.25Thedrugsaretheverycorpusdelictiofthecrimeof
illegal possession of dangerous drugs. Thus, their inadmissibility
precludesconvictionandcallsfortheacquittaloftheaccused.26
WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. The 18 February
2011 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. CR No. 32516
affirmingthejudgmentofconvictiondated19February2009ofthe
RegionalTrialCourt,5thJudicialRegion,NagaCity,Branch21,in
CriminalCaseNo.RTC20030087,isherebyREVERSEDandSET
ASIDE. Petitioner Rodel Luz y Ong is hereby ACQUITTED. The
bail bond posted for his provisional liberty is CANCELLED and
RELEASED.
SOORDERED.

Carpio(Chairperson),Brion,PerezandReyes,JJ.,concur.

Petition granted, judgment reversed and set aside. Petitioner


RodelLuzyOngacquitted.

Notes.The long standing rule in this jurisdiction is that


reliableinformationaloneisnotsufficienttojustifyawarrantless
arresttherulerequires,inaddition,thattheaccusedperformsome
overtactthatwouldindicatethathehas

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24Valdezv.People,G.R.No.170180,23November2007,538SCRA611.
25Peoplev.Martinez,G.R.No.191366,13December2010,637SCRA791.
26Id.

439

VOL.667,FEBRUARY29,2012 439
Luizvs.People

committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an


offense.(Peoplevs.Racho,626SCRA633[2010])
Asearchmaybeconductedbylawenforcersonlyonthestrength
ofavalidsearchwarrantExceptions:(1)consentedsearches(2)as
anincidenttoalawfularrest(3)searchesofvesselsandaircraftfor
violation of immigration, customs, and drug laws (4) searches of
moving vehicles (5) searches of automobiles at borders or
constructive borders (6) where the prohibited articles are in plain
view (7) searches of buildings and premises to enforce fire,
sanitary,andbuildingregulationsand(8)stopandfriskoperations.
(Esquillovs.People,629SCRA370[2010])
Withrespecttothepublicandthirdpersons,theregisteredowner
of a motor vehicle is directly and primarily responsible for the
consequences of its operation regardless of who the actual vehicle
ownermightbeWellsettledistherulethattheregisteredownerof
the vehicle is liable for quasidelicts resulting from its use. (FEB
LeasingandFinanceCorporationvs.Baylon,653SCRA22[2011])
o0o
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