Case Essay

9859 words - 40 pages

PEOPLE V. DORIA
301 SCRA 668
Facts: North Metropolitan District, Philippine National Police (PNP) Narcotics Command (Narcom), received information from two (2) civilian informants (CI) that one “Jun” was engaged in illegal drug activities in Mandaluyong City. The Narcom agents decided to entrap and arrest “Jun” in a buy-bust operation scheduled on December 5, 1995 at E. Jacinto Street in Mandaluyong City.

On December 5, 1995, at 6:00 in the morning, P/Insp. Cortes designated PO3 Manlangit as the poseur-buyer and SPO1 Badua as his back-up, and the rest of the team as perimeter security. PO3 Manlangit set aside P1,600.00 as money for the buy-bust operation.. PO3 Manlangit marked the ...view middle of the document...

He saw that one of the box’s flaps was open and inside the box was something wrapped in plastic. The plastic wrapper and its contents appeared similar to the marijuana earlier “sold” to him by “Jun.” His suspicion aroused, PO3 Manlangit entered “Neneth’s” house and took hold of the box. He peeked inside the box and found that it contained ten (10) bricks of what appeared to be dried marijuana leaves.

Simultaneous with the box’s discovery, SPO1 Badua recovered the marked bills from “Neneth.” The policemen arrested “Neneth.” They took “Neneth” and “Jun,” together with the box, its contents and the marked bills and turned them over to the investigator at headquarters. It was only then that the police learned that “Jun” is Florencio Doria y Bolado while “Neneth” is Violeta Gaddao y Catama. The one (1) brick of dried marijuana leaves recovered from “Jun” plus the ten (10) bricks recovered from “Neneth’s” house were examined at the PNP Crime Laboratory. The bricks, eleven (11) in all, were found to be dried marijuana fruiting tops of various weights totaling 7,641.08 grams. The RTC found them guilty.

Issue:
1. WON the warrantless search of Doria is valid.
2. WON the warrantless arrest of Gaddao is valid thereby justifying the search of her person and house, and the admissibility of the pieces of evidence obtained therefrom as incident to her arrest.
3. WON the marijuana was seized validly for being plain view of the police officers.

Held:
1. We also hold that the warrantless arrest of accused-appellant Doria is not unlawful.
Warrantless arrests are allowed in three instances as provided by Section 5 of Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, to wit:
“Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. — A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
(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 in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and
(c)When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.
Under Section 5 (a), as above-quoted, a person may be arrested without a warrant if he “has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense.”
In the case at bar, Appellant Doria was caught in the act of committing an offense. When an accused is apprehended in flagrante delicto as a result of a buy-bust operation, the police are not only authorized but duty-bound to arrest him even without a warrant.
There is no rule of law which requires that in "buy-bust" operations there must be a simultaneous exchange of the marked money and the prohibited drug between the poseur-buyer and...

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