Pre-Bar Quizzer in Political Law – PART 2: Constitution of Liberty 31 – 40
31. May the police authorities validly search the rented apartment of a suspect without a search warrant or without the consent of the said person BUT WITH THE CONSENT OF THE OWNER OF THE APARTMENT?
No. PEOPLE VS. DAMASO, 212 SCRA 547 abandoned the ruling in Lopez vs. Commissioner. In order that there is a valid consent to a warrantless search, the consent must come from the person directly affected by said warrantless search.
32. What is the “plain view doctrine” in connection with warrantless search and seizure?
As held in PEOPLE VS. VALDEZ, 341 SCRA 25, the “plain view” doctrine, which may justify a search without warrant, APPLIES ONLY WHERE THE POLICE OFFICER IS NOT SEARCHING FOR EVIDENCE AGAINS THE ACCUSED, BUT INADVERTENTLY COMES ACROSS AN INCRIMINATING OBJECT. As such, “plain view doctrine could not be used to justify the seizure of an unlicensed firearm in People vs. Damaso, supra, which was seen on top of a table after the opening of the apartment’s door without a warrant nor consent of the occupant therein.
33. Define probable cause in connection with the issuance of a search warrant.
The “probable cause” for a valid search warrant, has been defined “as such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed, and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched”. (Quintero vs. NBI, June 23, 1988). This probable cause must be shown to be within the personal knowledge of the complainant or the witnesses he may produce and not based on mere hearsay. (P. VS. SY JUCO, 64 PHIL. 667; ALVAREZ VS. CFI, 64 PHIL. 33; US VS. ADDISON, 28 PHIL. 566).
34. What is the “sufficiency test” in connection with applications for a search warrant?
“The true test of sufficiency of a deposition or affidavit to warrant issuance of a search warrant is whether it was drawn in a manner that perjury could be charged thereon and the affiant be held liable for damage caused. The oath required must refer to the truth of the facts within the personal knowledge of the applicant of a search warrant and/or his witnesses, not of the facts merely reported by a person whom one considers to be reliable.” (DR. NEMESIO PRUDENTE VS. THE HON. EXECUTIVE JUDGE ABELARDO M. DAYRIT, RTC 33, Manila & People of the Philippines, GR No. 82870, December 14, 1989)
35. May the police and military authorities validly search the citizens without warrant in checkpoints set up by them? What is the extent of the search that they may conduct?
In RICARDO VALMONTE VS. GEN RENATO DE VILLA, GR No. 83988, September 29, 1989, the Supreme Court held that warrantless searches and seizures in military and police checkpoints are not illegal as these measures to protect the government and safeguards the lives of the people. The checkpoints are legal as where the survival of the organized government is on the balance, or where the lives and safety of the people are in grave peril. However, the Supreme Court clarified that the military officers manning the checkpoints may conduct VISUAL SEARCH ONLY, NOT BODILY SEARCH.
36. Is an unlicensed firearm seized in the house of the accused without warrant by the military authorities, after they were given consent by the said owner of the house for them to search for rebel soldiers, admissible in evidence?
No. In VEROY VS. LAYAGUE, 210 SCRA 97, the Supreme Court held that the owner of the house allowed the policemen to enter his house because they will be searching for rebel soldiers but when inside the house, they instead seized an unlicensed firearm. As such, there was no consent to search for firearms and as a consequence, the firearm is not admissible as evidence.
37. If the judge finds that there’s probable cause, must he issue a warrant of arrest as a matter of course?
- SAmulde vs. Salvani, September 26, 1988 (No because a warrant is issued in order to have jurisdiction of the court over the person of an accused and to assure the court of his presence whenever his case is called in court. As such, if the court believes that the presence of the accused could be had even without a warrant of arrest, then he may not issue said warrant. Note: This case involves a minor offense)
- GOZO VS. TAC-AN, 300 SCRA 265. If the offense committed is a serious one like that obtaining in this case for murder, the Judge must issue a warrant of arrest after determining the existence of probable cause)
38. If the applicant for a search warrant testifies that his knowledge of the facts and circumstances was derived from a “highly reliable informant”, would such fact sufficient to convince the court of the existence of “probable cause”?
No, knowledge based on hearsay information does not justify the existence of probable cause. (Prudente vs. Dayrit, supra.) In fact, when the statements in the affidavits of witnesses are mere generalities, mere conclusions of law, and not positive statements of particular acts, the warrant issued by virtue thereof is not valid. Ponsica vs. Ignalaga, July 31,1987)
39. In the seizure of alleged pirated tapes, what must the applicant submit to the court in order that the search warrant to be issued shall be valid?
In Century Fox vs. CA, 164 SCRA 655 and COLUMBIA PICTURES VS. CA, 261 SCRA 144, it was held that the master copy of the allegedly pirated tape should be presented before the judge in order to convince him of the existence of probable cause)
40. What is the effect on the evidence obtained in violation of Sections 2 and 3 of Article III?
Any evidence obtained in violation of Sections 2 and 3 of Article III shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.
Pre-Bar Quizzer in Political Law (Doctrinal Rulings, Requisites and Definitions)
July, 2008 by Atty. Larry D. Gacayan
College of Law, University of the Cordilleras
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