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1.

People v Marti

FACTS:

Andre Marti went to the booth of Manila Packing and Export Forwarders to send ‘gifts’ to his
friend in Switzerland. Before the package was to be shipped, Job Reyes, the proprietor of said
company, following standard operating procedures, opened the package for final inspection. It
was later found out that the package containing ‘gifts’ were in fact marijuana and was thus a
violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the accused can validly claim that his constitutional right against unreasonable
searches and seizure has been violated.

RULING:

No. In the absence of governmental interference, the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution
cannot be invoked against the State.

It will be recalled that after Reyes opened the box containing the illicit cargo, he took samples of
the same to the NBI and later summoned the agents to his place of business. Thereafter, he
opened the parcels containing the rest of the shipment and entrusted the care and custody
thereof to the NBI agents. Clearly, the NBI agents made no search and seizure, much less an
illegal one, contrary to the postulate of the accused.

The constitutional proscription against unlawful searches and seizures therefore applies as a
restraint directed only against the government and its agencies tasked with the enforcement of
the law. Thus it could only be invoked against the State to whom the restraint against arbitrary
and unreasonable exercise of power is imposed.
2. Vallejo v Court of Appeals

FACTS:

A search warrant was applied for and subsequently issued by respondent to be served to the
Registry of Deeds in the province of Isabela in which it enumerated things to be seized:

1. Undetermined number of FAKE LAND TITLES, Official receipts in the Cashier’s


Office, Judicial Form No. 39 known as Our Primary Entry Book under no. 496 and
other pertinent documents related therewith;

2. Blank Forms of Land Titles kept inside the drawers of every table of employees in
the Registry of Deeds

3. Undetermined number of Land Transfer transactions without the corresponding


payment of Documentary Stamps and Capital Gains Tax.

All of which documents are being used or intended to be used in the commission of a felony that
is Falsification of Land Titles Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code, Article 213 of the same, and
R.A. 3019 (Anti-Graft) and are hidden or being kept in the said office.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the warrant issued by the RTC was valid.

RULING:

Yes. The things to be seized must be described with only particularity. Technical precision of
description is not required. It is only necessary that there be a reasonable particularity and
certainty as to the identity of the property to be searched for and seized, so that the warrant
shall not be a mere roving commission. Indeed, the law does not require that the things to be
seized must be described in precise and minute detail as to leave no room for doubt on the part
of the searching authorities. If this were the rule, it would be virtually impossible for the
applicants to obtain a warrant as they would not know exactly what kind of things to look for.
Any description of the place or thing to be searched that will enable the officer making the
search with reasonable certainty to locate such place or thing is sufficient.
3. Luz v People

FACTS:

PO2 Emmanuel L. Alteza saw the accused driving a motorcycle without a helmet. This prompted
him to flag down the accused for violating a municipal ordinance. While he was issuing a citation
ticket for said violation, he noticed that the accused was uneasy and kept on getting something
from his jacket. He was alerted and so told the accused to take out the contents of the pocket of
his jacket. The accused was then found to have carried with him several weapons and 4 sachets
of shabu.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the arrest, searches and seizure were invalid.

HELD:

Yes, there was no valid arrest. When he was flagged down for committing a traffic violation, he
was not, ipso facto and solely for this reason, arrested. There being no valid arrest, the
warrantless search that resulted from it was likewise illegal.

Under R.A. 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, the general procedure for dealing
with a traffic violation is not the arrest of the offender, but the confiscation of the drivers license
of the latter. 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. Prior to the issuance of the ticket, the
period during which petitioner was at the police station may be characterized merely as waiting
time.

The subject items seized during the illegal arrest are inadmissible. The drugs are the very corpus
delicti of the crime of illegal possession of dangerous drugs. Thus, their inadmissibility precludes
conviction and calls for the acquittal of the accused.
4. People vs Chua

FACTS:

SPO2 Nulud and PO2 Nunag received a report from their confidential informant that accused-
appellant Binad Sy Chua was about to deliver drugs. Later, their informer identified Chua’s car
which just arrived and Nulog and Nunag immediately accosted him and introduced themselves
as police officers as soon as the accused alighted from his car. As accused-appellant pulled out
his wallet, a small transparent plastic bag with a crystalline substance protruded from his right
back pocket. Forthwith, Nulud subjected him to a body search which yielded ammunition and
shabu.

ISSUES:

(1) Whether or Not the arrest of accused-appellant was lawful; and


(2) WON the search of his person and the subsequent confiscation of shabu allegedly found on
him were conducted in a lawful and valid manner.

HELD:

The lower court believed that since the police received information that the accused will
distribute illegal drugs that evening at the Thunder Inn Hotel and its vicinities, the police officer
had to act quickly and there was no more time to secure a search warrant. The search is valid
being akin to a “stop and frisk”.

In this instance, the law requires that there first be arrest before a search can be made—the
process cannot be reversed. Accordingly, for this exception to apply, two elements must concur:
(1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is
actually committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the
presence or within the view of the arresting officer.

Accused-appellant did not act in a suspicious manner. For all intents and purposes, there was no
overt manifestation that accused-appellant has just committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit a crime. “Reliable information” alone, absent any overt act indicative of a
felonious enterprise in the presence and within the view of the arresting officers, is not
sufficient to constitute probable cause that would justify an in flagrante delicto arrest.

With regard to the concept of “stop-and frisk”: mere suspicion or a hunch will not validate a
“stop-and-frisk”. A genuine reason must exist, in light of the police officer’s experience and
surrounding conditions, to warrant the belief that the person detained has weapons concealed
about him. Finally, a “stop-and-frisk” serves a two-fold interest: (1) the general interest of
effective crime prevention and detection for purposes of investigating possible criminal
behavior even without probable cause; and (2) the interest of safety and self-preservation which
permit the police officer to take steps to assure himself that the person with whom he deals is
not armed with a deadly weapon that could unexpectedly and fatally be used against the police
officer.

A stop-and-frisk was defined as the act of a police officer to stop a citizen on the street,
interrogate him, and pat him for weapon(s) or contraband. It should also be emphasized that a
search and seizure should precede the arrest for this principle to apply. The foregoing
circumstances do not obtain in the case at bar
5. Padilla v CA

FACTS:
Petitioner was involved in a hit and run accident and was later apprehended by the police after
he was chased by them. During the arrest, petitioner was found to have in his possession two
different firearms and 2 other firearms were found inside his vehicle after the policemen saw
the first two firearms he was carrying.
Petitioner was then convicted of illegal possession of firearms. Hence the present petition.

ISSUE:

WON the warrantless search and arrest conducted on petitioner was valid

RULING:

In conformity with respondent court's observation, it indeed appears that the authorities
stumbled upon petitioner's firearms and ammunitions without even undertaking any active
search which, as it is commonly understood, is a prying into hidden places for that which is
concealed. The seizure of the Smith & Wesson revolver and an M-16 rifle magazine was justified
for they came within "plain view" of the policemen who inadvertently discovered the revolver
and magazine tucked in petitioner's waist and back pocket respectively, when he raised his
hands after alighting from his Pajero. The same justification applies to the confiscation of the M-
16 armalite rifle which was immediately apparent to the policemen as they took a casual glance
at the Pajero and saw said rifle lying horizontally near the driver's seat. Thus it has been held
that:

When in pursuing an illegal action or in the commission of a criminal offense, the police officers
should happen to discover a criminal offense being committed by any person, they are not
precluded from performing their duties as police officers for the apprehension of the guilty
person and the taking of the, corpus delicti.

Objects whose possession are prohibited by law inadvertently found in plain view are subject to
seizure even without a warrant.
With respect to the Berreta pistol and a black bag containing assorted magazines, petitioner
voluntarily surrendered them to the police. This latter gesture of petitioner indicated a waiver of
his right against the alleged search and seizure , and that his failure to quash the information
estopped him from assailing any purported defect.

Even assuming that the firearms and ammunitions were products of an active search done by
the authorities on the person and vehicle of petitioner, their seizure without a search warrant
nonetheless can still be justified under a search incidental to a lawful arrest (first instance). Once
the lawful arrest was effected, the police may undertake a protective search of the passenger
compartment and containers in the vehicle which are within petitioner's grabbing distance
regardless of the nature of the offense. This satisfied the two-tiered test of an incidental search:
(i) the item to be searched (vehicle) was within the arrestee's custody or area of immediate
control and (ii) the search was contemporaneous with the arrest. The products of that search
are admissible evidence not excluded by the exclusionary rule. Another justification is a search
of a moving vehicle (third instance). In connection therewith, a warrantless search is
constitutionally permissible when, as in this case, the officers conducting the search have
reasonable or probable cause to believe, before the search, that either the motorist is a law-
offender (like herein petitioner with respect to the hit and run) or the contents or cargo of the
vehicle are or have been instruments or the subject matter or the proceeds of some criminal
offense.
1. Vivares vs. ST Theresa’s College

FACTS:
Angela Tan, a high school student at St. Theresa’s College (STC), uploaded on Facebook several
pictures of her and her classmates wearing only their undergarments. Thereafter, some of their
classmates reported said photos to their teacher, Mylene Escudero. Escudero, through her
students, viewed and downloaded said pictures. She showed the said pictures to STC’s
Discipline-in-Charge for appropriate action.

Later, STC found Tan et al to have violated the student’s handbook and banned them from
“marching” in their graduation ceremonies scheduled in March 2012.

The issue went to court but despite a TRO (temporary restraining order) granted by the Cebu
RTC enjoining the school from barring the students in the graduation ceremonies, STC still
barred said students.

Subsequently, Rhonda Vivares, mother of Nenita, and the other mothers filed a petition for the
issuance of the writ of habeas data against the school.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the petition for writ of habeas data is proper.

HELD:
Yes, it is proper but in this case, it will not prosper.

Contrary to the arguments of STC, the Supreme Court ruled that:


1. The petition for writ of habeas data can be availed of even if this is not a case of extralegal
killing or enforced disappearance; and

2. The writ of habeas data can be availed of against STC even if it is not an entity engaged in the
business of “gathering, collecting, or storing data or information regarding the person, family,
home and correspondence of the aggrieved party”.
First, the Rule on Habeas Data does not state that it can be applied only in cases of extralegal
killings or enforced disappearances. Second, nothing in the Rule would suggest that the habeas
data protection shall be available only against abuses of a person or entity engaged in the
business of gathering, storing, and collecting of data.

In this case, however, there is no showing that the students concerned made use of such privacy
tools. Evidence would show that that their post (status) on Facebook were published as “Public”.

The default setting is “Public” and if a user wants to have some privacy, then he must choose
any setting other than “Public”. If it is true that the students concerned did set the posts subject
of this case so much so that only five people can see them (as they claim), then how come most
of their classmates were able to view them. This fact was not refuted by them. In fact, it was
their classmates who informed and showed their teacher, Escudero, of the said pictures.
Therefore, it appears that Tan et al never use the privacy settings of Facebook hence, they have
no reasonable expectation of privacy on the pictures of them scantily clad.

STC did not violate the students’ right to privacy. The manner which the school gathered the
pictures cannot be considered illegal. As it appears, it was the classmates of the students who
showed the picture to their teacher and the latter, being the recipient of said pictures, merely
delivered them to the proper school authority and it was for a legal purpose, that is, to discipline
their students according to the standards of the school (to which the students and their parents
agreed to in the first place because of the fact that they enrolled their children there).
2. Ramirez vs CA

FACTS:
A civil case damages was filed by petitioner Socorro Ramirez in the Quezon City RTC alleging that
the private respondent, Ester Garcia, in a confrontation in the latter’s office, allegedly vexed,
insulted and humiliated her in a “hostile and furious mood” and in a manner offensive to
petitioner’s dignity and personality,” contrary to morals, good customs and public policy.”

In support of her claim, petitioner produced a verbatim transcript of the event and sought
damages. The transcript on which the civil case was based was culled from a tape recording of
the confrontation made by petitioner.

As a result of petitioner’s recording of the event and alleging that the said act of secretly taping
the confrontation was illegal, private respondent filed a criminal case before the Pasay RTC for
violation of Republic Act 4200, entitled “An Act to prohibit and penalize wiretapping and other
related violations of private communication, and other purposes.”

ISSUE:
W/N the Anti-Wiretapping Act applies in recordings by one of the parties in the conversation

HELD:
Yes. Section 1 of R.A. 4200 entitled, ” An Act to Prohibit and Penalized Wire Tapping and Other
Related Violations of Private Communication and Other Purposes,” provides:

Sec. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private
communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or
arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or spoken word by
using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie
or tape recorder, or however otherwise described.

The aforestated provision clearly and unequivocally makes it illegal for any person, not
authorized by all the parties to any private communication to secretly record such
communication by means of a tape recorder. The law makes no distinction as to whether the
party sought to be penalized by the statute ought to be a party other than or different from
those involved in the private communication. The statute’s intent to penalize all persons
unauthorized to make such recording is underscored by the use of the qualifier “any”.
Consequently, as respondent Court of Appeals correctly concluded, “even a (person) privy to a
communication who records his private conversation with another without the knowledge of
the latter (will) qualify as a violator” under this provision of R.A. 4200.
1. Diocese of Bacolod vs COMELEC

FACTS:

On February 21, 2013, petitioners posted two (2) tarpaulins within a private compound housing
the San Sebastian Cathedral of Bacolod. They were posted on the front walls of the cathedral
within public view. The first tarpaulin contains the message “IBASURA RH Law” referring to the
Reproductive Health Law of 2012 or Republic Act No. 10354. The second tarpaulin contains the
heading “Conscience Vote” and lists candidates as either “(Anti-RH) Team Buhay” with a check
mark, or “(Pro-RH) Team Patay” with an “X” mark. The electoral candidates were classified
according to their vote on the adoption of Republic Act No. 10354, otherwise known as the RH
Law. Those who voted for the passing of the law were classified by petitioners as comprising
“Team Patay,” while those who voted against it form “Team Buhay.”

ISSUE:
Whether or not COMELEC may regulate expressions made by private citizens.

HELD:
Respondents cite the Constitution, laws, and jurisprudence to support their position that they
had the power to regulate the tarpaulin. However, the Court held that all of these provisions
pertain to candidates and political parties. Petitioners are not candidates. Neither do they
belong to any political party. COMELEC does not have the authority to regulate the enjoyment
of the preferred right to freedom of expression exercised by a non-candidate in this case.

The Court held that every citizen’s expression with political consequences enjoys a high degree
of protection.

Moreover, the respondent’s argument that the tarpaulin is election propaganda, being
petitioners’ way of endorsing candidates who voted against the RH Law and rejecting those who
voted for it, holds no water.

The Court held that while the tarpaulin may influence the success or failure of the named
candidates and political parties, this does not necessarily mean it is election propaganda. The
tarpaulin was not paid for or posted “in return for consideration” by any candidate, political
party, or party-list group.

By interpreting the law, it is clear that personal opinions are not included, while sponsored
messages are covered.
2. Ang Ladlad LGBT Party vs COMELEC

FACTS:

Before the COMELEC, petitioner argued that the LGBT community is a marginalized and under-
represented sector that is particularly disadvantaged because of their sexual orientation and
gender identity; that Ang Ladlad complied with the 8-point guidelines enunciated by this Court
in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. Commission on Elections. Ang Ladlad laid out its
national membership base consisting of individual members and organizational supporters, and
outlined its platform of governance. On August 17, 2009, Ang Ladlad filed a Petition for
registration with the COMELEC.

On November 11, 2009, after admitting the petitioner’s evidence, the COMELEC dismissed the
Petition on moral grounds that petitioner tolerates immorality which offends religious beliefs.
Petitioner should likewise be denied accreditation not only for advocating immoral doctrines but
likewise for not being truthful when it said that it “or any of its nominees/party-list
representatives have not violated or failed to comply with laws, rules, or regulations relating to
the elections.” Furthermore, states COMELEC, Ang Ladlad will be exposing our youth to an
environment that does not conform to the teachings of our faith. When Ang Ladlad sought
reconsideration, COMELEC still, on December 16, 2010, upheld the First Assailed Resolution.

ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the denial of accreditation by COMELEC, violated the constitutional
guarantees against the establishment of religion insofar as it justified the exclusion by using
religious dogma.

2. Whether or not the Assailed Resolutions contravened the constitutional rights to privacy,
freedom of speech and assembly, and equal protection of laws, of Ang Ladlad, as well as
constituted violations of the Philippines’ international obligations against discrimination
based on sexual orientation.

HELD:
1. Our Constitution provides in Article III, Section 5 that “No law shall be made respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” At bottom, what our
non-establishment clause calls for is “government neutrality in religious matters.” Clearly,
“governmental reliance on religious justification is inconsistent with this policy of
neutrality.” The Supreme Court ruled that it was grave violation of the non-establishment
clause for the COMELEC to utilize the Bible and the Koran to justify the exclusion of Ang
Ladlad. Rather than relying on religious belief, the legitimacy of the Assailed Resolutions
should depend, instead, on whether the COMELEC is able to advance some justification for
its rulings beyond mere conformity to religious doctrine. The government must act for
secular purposes and in ways that have primarily secular effects.

2. The Assailed Resolutions have not identified any specific overt immoral act performed by
Ang Ladlad. Even the Office of the Solicitor General agrees that “there should have been a
finding by the COMELEC that the group’s members have committed or are committing
immoral acts.” Respondent have failed to explain what societal ills are sought to be
prevented, or why special protection is required for the youth. Under our system of laws,
every group has the right to promote its agenda and attempt to persuade society of the
validity of its position through normal democratic means. Freedom of expression constitutes
one of the essential foundations of a democratic society, and this freedom applies not only
to those that are favorably received but also to those that offend, shock, or disturb. Absent
of any compelling state interest, it is not for the COMELEC or the Supreme Court, to impose
its views on the populace. This is in accord with the country’s international obligations to
protect and promote human rights. The Constitution and laws should be applied
uninfluenced by public opinion. True democracy should be resilient enough to withstand
vigorous debate due to conflicting opinions.
3. 1UTAK vs COMELEC

Facts:

In 2013, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution 9615 providing rules that would implement Sec
9 of RA 9006 or the Fair Elections Act. One of the provisions of the Resolution provide that the
posting of any election propaganda or materials during the campaign period shall be prohibited
in public utility vehicles (PUV) and within the premises of public transport terminals. 1 UTAK, a
party-list organization, questioned the prohibition as it impedes the right to free speech of the
private owners of PUVs and transport terminals.

Issue: W/N the regulation constitutes prior restraints on free speech

RULING:

Yes. It unduly infringes on the fundamental right of the people to freedom of speech. Central to
the prohibition is the freedom of individuals such as the owners of PUVs and private transport
terminals to express their preference, through the posting of election campaign material in their
property, and convince others to agree with them.
4. Soriano vs Languardia

Facts:

On August 10, 2004, at around 10:00 p.m., petitioner, as host of the program Ang Dating Daan,
aired on UNTV 37, made obscene remarks against INC. Two days after, before the MTRCB,
separate but almost identical affidavit-complaints were lodged by Jessie L. Galapon and seven
other private respondents, all members of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), against petitioner in
connection with the above broadcast. Respondent Michael M. Sandoval, who felt directly
alluded to in petitioner‘s remark, was then a minister of INC and a regular host of the TV
program Ang Tamang Daan.

Issue:

Whether or not Soriano‘s statements during the televised ―Ang Dating Daan part of the
religious discourse and within the protection of Section 5, Art.III.

Held:

No. Under the circumstances obtaining in this case, therefore, and considering the adverse
effect of petitioner‘s utterances on the viewers‘ fundamental rights as well as petitioner‘s clear
violation of his duty as a public trustee, the MTRCB properly suspended him from appearing in
Ang Dating Daan for three months. Furthermore, it cannot be properly asserted that petitioner‘s
suspension was an undue curtailment of his right to free speech either as a prior restraint or as a
subsequent punishment. Aside from the reasons given above (re the paramount of viewers
rights, the public trusteeship character of a broadcaster‘s role and the power of the State to
regulate broadcast media), a requirement that indecent language be avoided has its primary
effect on the form, rather than the content, of serious communication. There are few, if any,
thoughts that cannot be expressed by the use of less offensive language.

The SC ruled that ―Soriano‘s statement can be treated as obscene, at least with respect to the
average child, and thus his utterances cannot be considered as protected speech. Citing
decisions from the US Supreme Court, the High Court said that the analysis should be ―context
based and found the utterances to be obscene after considering the use of television
broadcasting as a medium, the time of the show, and the ―G rating of the show, which are all
factors that made the utterances susceptible to children viewers. The Court emphasized on how
the uttered words could be easily understood by a child literally rather than in the context that
they were used.

The SC also said ―that the suspension is not a prior restraint, but rather a ―form of permissible
administrative sanction or subsequent punishment. In affirming the power of the MTRCB to
issue an order of suspension, the majority said that ―it is a sanction that the MTRCB may validly
impose under its charter without running afoul of the free speech clause. The Court said that the
suspension ―is not a prior restraint on the right of petitioner to continue with the broadcast of
Ang Dating Daan as a permit was already issued to him by MTRCB, rather, it was a sanction for
―the indecent contents of his utterances in a ―G rated TV program. (Soriano v. Laguardia; GR
No. 165636, April 29, 2009)