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G.R. No. 180661 December 11, 2013 GEORGE ANTIQUERA y CODES, Petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent. DECISION ABAD, J.: This case is about a supposed warrantless arrest and a subsequent search prompted by the police officers' chance sighting through an ajar door of the accused engaged in pot session. The Facts and the Case On January 13, 2004 the second Assistant City Prosecutor of Pasay City charged the accused George Codes Antiquera* and Corazon Olivenza Cruz wi
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  G.R. No. 180661 December 11, 2013GEORGE ANTIQUERA y CODES, Petto!er, #.PEOP$E O% T&E P&I$IPPINES, Re#'o!(e!t. D E C I S I O NABAD, J.:This case is about a supposed warrantless arrest and a subseuent search pro!pted b the police o##icers$ chance si%htin% throu%h an a&ar door o# the accused en%a%ed in pot session.The 'acts and the CaseOn Januar (), *++ the second Assistant Cit -rosecutor o# -asa Cit char%ed the accused eor%e Codes Antiuera/ and Cora0on Oli1en0a Cru0 with ille%al 2possession o# paraphernalia #or dan%erous dru%s ( be#ore the3e%ional Trial Court 43TC5 o# -asa Cit in Cri!inal Case +6+(++6C'7. * Since the accused Cru0 &u!ped bail, the court tried her in absentia. )The prosecution e1idence shows that at around :8 a.!. o# 'ebruar ((, *++, -O( re%orio 3ecio, -O( 9aurence Cabutihan, -Insp. Eric Ibon, -O( 3odelio 3ania, and two ci1ilian operati1es on board a patrol car and a tric cle were conductin% a police 1isibilit patrol on Da1id Street, -asa Cit , when the saw two unidenti#ied !en rush out o# house nu!ber (+;6C and i!!ediatel boarded a &eep.Suspectin% that a cri!e had been co!!itted, the police o##icers approached the house #ro! where the !en ca!e and pee<ed throu%h the partiall opened door. -O( 3ecio and -O( Cabutihan saw accused Antiuera holdin% an i!pro1ised tooter and a pin< li%hter. Beside hi! was his li1e6in partner, Cru0, who was holdin% an alu!inu! #oil and an i!pro1ised burner. The sat #acin% each other at the li1in% roo!. This pro!pted the policeo##icers to enter the house, introduce the!sel1es, and arrest Antiuera and Cru0.=hile inspectin% the i!!ediate surroundin%s, -O( Cabutihan saw a wooden &ewelr bo> atop a table. It contained an i!pro1ised burner, wo<, scissors, (+ s!all transparent plastic sachets with traces o# white cr stalline substance, i!pro1ised scoop, and se1en unused strips o# alu!inu! #oil. The police o##icers con#iscated all these and brou%ht Antiuera and Cru0 to the Dru% En#orce!ent ?nit o# the -hilippine National -olice in -asa Cit #or #urther in1esti%ation and testin%.8A #orensic che!ical o##icer e>a!ined the con#iscated dru% paraphernalia and #ound the! positi1e #or traces o# !etha!pheta!ine h drochloride or @shabu.@Accused Antiuera %a1e a di##erent stor . e said that on the date and ti!e in uestion, he and Cru0 were asleep in their house when he was roused b <noc<in% on the door. =hen he went to open it, three ar!ed police o##icers #orced the!sel1es into the house. One o# the! sho1ed hi! and said, @D an <a lan%, pusher <a.@ e was handcu##ed and so!eone instructed two o# the o##icers to %o to his roo!. The police later brou%ht accused Antiuera and Cru0 to the police station and there in#or!ed the! o# the char%es a%ainst the!. The were shown a bo> that the police said had been reco1ered #ro! his house.;On Jul )+, *++ the 3TC rendered a Decision that #ound accused Antiuera and Cru0 %uilt o# the cri!e char%ed and sentenced the! to a prison ter! ran%in% #ro! si> !onths and one da to two ears and #our !onths, and to pa a #ine o# -(+,+++.++ each and the costs o# the suit.The 3TC said that the prosecution pro1ed be ond reasonable doubt that the police cau%ht accused Antiuera and Cru0 in the act o# usin% shabu and ha1in% dru% paraphernalia in their possession. Since no ill !oti1e could be attributed to -O( 3ecio and -O( Cabutihan, the court accorded #ull #aith and credit to their testi!on and re&ected the sel#6ser1in% clai! o# Antiuera.The trial court %a1e no wei%ht to accused Antiueras clai! o# ille%al arrest, %i1en -O( 3ecio and -O( Cabutihans credible testi!on that, prior to their arrest, the saw Antiuera and Cru0 in a pot session at their li1in% roo! and in possession o# dru% paraphernalia. The police o##icers were thus &usti#ied in arrestin% the two without a warrant pursuant to Section 8, 3ule (() o# the 3ules o# Cri!inal -rocedure.  On appeal, the Court o# Appeals 4CA5 rendered a Decision(+ on Septe!ber *(, *++; a##ir!in% in #ull the decision o# the trial court. The accused !o1ed #or reconsideration but the CA denied it.(( The accused is now be#ore this Court see<in% acuittal.The Issue -resentedThe issue in this case is whether or not the CA erred in #indin% accused Antiuera %uilt be ond reasonable doubt o# ille%al possession o# dru% paraphernalia based on the e1idence o# the police o##icers that the saw hi! and Cru0 in the act o# possessin% dru% paraphernalia.3ulin% o# the CourtThe prosecutions theor , upheld b both the 3TC and the CA, is that it was a case o# 1alid warrantless arrest in that the police o##icers saw accused Antiuera and Cru0 throu%h the door o# their house, in the act o# ha1in% a pot session. That 1alid warrantless arrest %a1e the o##icers the ri%ht as well to search the li1in% roo! #or ob&ectsrelatin% to the cri!e and thus sei0e the paraphernalia the #ound there.The prosecution contends that, since the sei0ed paraphernalia tested positi1e #or shabu, the were no doubt used #or s!o<in%, consu!in%, ad!inisterin%, in&ectin%, in%estin%, or introducin% dan%erous dru% into the bod in 1iolation o# Section (* o# 3epublic Act (8. That the accused tested ne%ati1e #or shabu, said the prosecution, had no bearin% on the cri!e char%ed which was #or ille%al possession o# dru% paraphernalia, not #orille%al use o# dan%erous dru%s. The prosecution added that e1en assu!in% that the arrest o# the accused was irre%ular, he is alread considered to ha1e wai1ed his ri%ht to uestion the 1alidit o# his arrest when he 1oluntaril sub!itted hi!sel# to the courts &urisdiction b enterin% a plea o# not %uilt .(*Section 84a5, 3ule (() o# the 3ules o# Cri!inal -rocedure pro1ides that a @peace o##icer or a pri1ate person !a ,without a warrant, arrest a person when, in his presence, the person to be arrested has co!!itted, is actuall co!!ittin%, or is atte!ptin% to co!!it an o##ense.@ This is an arrest in #la%rante delicto.() The o1ert act constitutin% the cri!e is done in the presence or within the 1iew o# the arrestin% o##icer.(But the circu!stances here do not !a<e out a case o# arrest !ade in #la%rante delicto.(. The police o##icers clai! that the were alerted when the saw two unidenti#ied !en suddenl rush out o# (+;Da1id Street, -asa Cit . Since the suspected that a cri!e had been co!!itted, the natural thin% #or the! to do was to %i1e chase to the &eep that the two #leein% !en boarded, %i1en that the o##icers were in a patrol car and a tric cle. 3unnin% a#ter the #leein% suspects was the !ore ur%ent tas< but the o##icers instead %a1e priorit to the house e1en when the heard no cr #or help #ro! it.*. Ad!ittedl , the police o##icers did not notice an thin% a!iss %oin% on in the house #ro! the street where the stood. Indeed, e1en as the pee<ed throu%h its partiall opened door, the saw no acti1it that warranted their enterin% it. Thus, -O( Cabutihan testi#ied:TE CO?3T:F G B the wa , 7r. Cabutihan, when ou #ollowed our co!panion towards the open door, how was the door openH =as it totall open, or was it partiall openHA G It was partiall open our onor.F G B how !uch, (), (*H Onl b less than one 4(5 #ootHA G 7ore or less  to  inches, our onor.F G So how were ou able to <now, to see the interior o# the house i# the door was onl open b  inchesH Or did ou ha1e to push the doorHA G =e pushed the door, our onor.> > > >F G =ere ou allowed to &ust %o towards the door o# the house, push its door and peeped inside it, as a police o##icerH  A G asi po na%hinala po <a!i ba<a !a KF G Are ou not allowed to G Are ou not reuired to %et a search warrant be#ore ou can search the interior o# the houseHA G es, our onor.F G =hat do ou !ean b esH =ould ou #irst obtain a search warrant be#ore searchin% the interior o# the houseHA G es, our onor.F G So wh did ou not a LsicM secure a search warrant #irst be#ore ou tried to in1esti%ate the house, considerin% our ad!ission that ou suspected that there was so!ethin% wron% inside the houseHA G Because we saw the! that the were en%a%ed in pot session, our onor.F G But be#ore ou saw the!, ou &ust had to push the door wide open to peep throu%h its openin% because ou did not <now what was happenin% insideHA G es, our onor.(8 4E!phasis supplied5Clearl , no cri!e was plainl e>posed to the 1iew o# the arrestin% o##icers that authori0ed the arrest o# accused Antiuera without warrant under the abo1e6!entioned rule. Considerin% that his arrest was ille%al, the search and sei0ure that resulted #ro! it was li<ewise ille%al.( Conseuentl , the 1arious dru% paraphernalia that the police o##icers alle%edl #ound in the house and sei0ed are inad!issible, ha1in% proceeded #ro! an in1alid searchand sei0ure. Since the con#iscated dru% paraphernalia is the 1er corpus delicti o# the cri!e char%ed, the Court has no choice but to acuit the accused.(;One #inal note. The #ailure o# the accused to ob&ect to the irre%ularit o# his arrest b itsel# is not enou%h to sustain his con1iction. A wai1er o# an ille%al warrantless arrest does not carr with it a wai1er o# the inad!issibilit o# e1idence sei0ed durin% the ille%al warrantless arrest.(=E3E'O3E, the Court 3EE3SES and SETS ASIDE the Decision dated Septe!ber *(, *++; and 3esolution dated No1e!ber (, *++; o# the Court o# Appeals in CA6.3. C3 *); and ACF?ITS the accused eor%e Antiuera Codes o# the cri!e o# which he is char%ed #or lac< o# e1idence su##icient to establish his %uilt be ondreasonable doubt.(wphi( The Court #urther O3DE3S the cancellation and release o# the bail bond he posted #orhis pro1isional libert .SO O3DE3ED. G.R. No. 20)01) No ember 1*, 201+A. IIE CRESCENCIO, Petto!er, #.PEOP$E O% T&E P&I$IPPINES, Re#'o!(e!t. D E C I S I O N3EES, J.:This case ste!!ed #ro! 7a. 7i!ie Crescencio$s 4petitioner5 con1iction #or 1iolation o# Section ( o# -residential Decree 4-.D.5 No. ;+8,* otherwise <nown as the 3e1ised 'orestr Code o# the -hilippines 4'orestr Code5, as a!ended b E>ecuti1e Order 4E.O.5 No. *;;,) rendered b the 3e%ional Trial Court 43TC5 o#Talibon, Bohol, Branch 8*, in Cri!inal Case No. 6*;, on Au%ust (*, *++. The Court o# Appeals 4CA5, in CA6.3. C3 No. +((*, dis!issed the appeal in its 3esolution8 dated April (8, *+(( #or #ailure to ser1e a cop o# the Appellants Brie# to the O##ice o# the Solicitor eneral 4OS5. The CA, in its 3esolution dated No1e!ber (, *+(*, also denied the petitioners !otion #or reconsideration o# the said resolution.The 'acts  Actin% on an in#or!ation that there was a stoc<pile o# lu!ber or #orest products in the 1icinit o# the house o# the petitioner, Eu#e!io Abaniel 4Abaniel5, the Chie# o# the 'orest-rotection ?nit o# Depart!ent o# En1iron!ent and Natural 3esources 4DEN35 6 Co!!unit En1iron!ent and Natural 3esources O##ice, Talibon, Bohol, to%etherwith 'orest 3an%ers ?rcino Butal 4Butal5, Al#redo Bastasa and Celso 3a!os 43a!os5 went to the petitioners house at Balico, Talibon, Bohol on 7arch (8, ( at ):++ p.!. ?pon arri1in% thereat, the saw #orest products l in% under the house o# the petitioner and at the shoreline about two !eters awa #ro! the petitioners house. As the DEN3 personnel tried to in1esti%ate #ro! the nei%hborhood as to who was the owner o# the lu!ber, the petitioner ad!itted its ownership. Therea#ter, the DEN3 personnel entered the pre!ises o# the petitioners house without a search warrant.;?pon inspection, * pieces o# !a%siha%onlu!ber, which is eui1alent to 8* board #eet, were disco1ered. =hen the DEN3 personnel as<ed #or docu!ents to support the petitioners clai! o# ownership, the latter showed to the! O##icial 3eceipt No. )8+8) issued b -en%a1itor Enterprises where she alle%edl bou%ht the said lu!ber. owe1er, when the DEN3 personnel scaled the lu!ber, the #ound out that the di!ensions and the species o# the lu!ber did not tall with the ite!s !entioned in the receipt. The said receipt showed that the petitioner bou%ht (+ pieces o# red lawaan lu!ber with si0es *>>( and 8 pieces with si0es *>>( on 7arch (), (. On the other hand, the lu!ber in the petitioners house, on 7arch (8, (, was * pieces o# !a%siha%onlu!ber o# three di##erent si0es, to wit: *+ pieces *>>(P ) pieces *>>(P and ( piece *>(+>(*.Since the petitioner could not present an other receipt, Abaniel ordered the con#iscation o# the lu!ber, as<ed #or police assistance, and told the petitioner that the were %oin% to transport the con#iscated lu!ber to the DEN3 o##ice #or sa#e<eepin%. Sei0ure 3eceipt No. ++(8; and a State!ent Showin% the Nu!ber-ieces and olu!e o# 9u!ber Bein% Con#iscated, which showed the 1alue o# the lu!ber to be ,++.++, were issued to the petitioner. 'orest 3an%ers Butal and 3a!os corroborated Abaniels testi!on .(+S-O( Desiderio arcia testi#ied that upon the reuest o# Abaniel #or police assistance, he and -O) Antonio Crescencio went to the house o# the petitioner where the saw so!e lu!berwhich was later loaded on a car%o truc<. Therea#ter, the escorted the transport o# the lu!ber to the DEN3 o##ice in San 3oue, Talibon, Bohol.((On the other hand, the lone witness o# the de#ense, 9olita Crescencio, ad!itted that the sei0ed lu!ber were owned b the petitioner but clai!ed that the latter bou%ht it #ro! -en%a1itor Enterprises o# Trinidad, Bohol and #ro! Ja1a 7ar<etin% in ?ba , Bohol.(* owe1er, the de#ense had onl the O##icial 3eceipt No. )8+8) issued b -en%a1itor Enterprises which, howe1er, did not tall with the #orest products con#iscated.On 7a (;, (, the petitioner was char%ed b the -ro1incial -rosecutor o# Ta%bilaran Cit , Bohol, with 1iolation o# Section  o# -.D. No. ;+8, as a!ended b E.O. No. *;;. The In#or!ation() alle%ed:That on or about the (8th da o# 7arch, (, in the !unicipalit o# Talibon, Bohol, -hilippines, and within the  &urisdiction o# this onorable Court, the abo1e6na!ed accused with intent to possess and to %ain #or her own bene#it, without an le%al docu!ent as reuired under e>istin% &urisprudence, laws and re%ulations, and withoutan law#ul authorit under e>istin% rules and re%ulation o# DEN3 'orest 7ana%e!ent Sector, will#ull , unlaw#ull and ille%all possess and ha1e under her custod and control #orest products consistin% o# twent 6#our 4*5 pieces o# !a%siha%on lu!ber with a 1olu!e o# 8* board #eet and a total 1alue o# Nine Thousand 'ort 4-,++.++5 -esos, -hilippine Currenc P to the da!a%e and pre&udice o# the 3epublic o# the -hilippines.(Durin% the arrai%n!ent on Jul (8,(;, the petitioner pleaded not %uilt to the o##ense char%ed.Therea#ter, trial ensued.(8On Au%ust (*, *++, the 3TC rendered &ud%!ent( con1ictin% the petitioner o# the o##ense char%ed and sentenced her to i!prison!ent o# si> 45 ears and one 4(5 da o# prision !a oras !ini!u! to ele1en 4((5 ears and si> 45 !onths and twent 6one 4*(5 da s o# prision !a oras !a>i!u!. The 3TC also ordered the con#iscation o# the sei0ed lu!ber owned b the petitioner.(;As e>pected, the petitioner appealed the decision to the CA. owe1er, in its 3esolution( dated April (8, *+((, the CA dis!issed the appeal outri%ht because the petitioner #ailed to #urnish the OS a cop o# the Appellants Brie# in 1iolation o# the 3ules o# Court. The petitioner !o1ed #or reconsideration but it was denied b the CA,in its 3esolution( dated No1e!ber (, *+(*. ence, this petition #or re1iew on certiorari.The Issue
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