SECTION 2 - The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by a judge under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.


by: C D R

A. When is a search a “reasonable search”?

Valmonte v. De Villa – checkpoints – Section 2 is a personal right invocable only by those whose rights have been infringed or threatened to be infringed; reasonableness is determined by a fixed formula but from the circumstances of the case; not all searches and seizures are not allowed; between the inherent right of the state to protect its existence and promote public welfare and an individual; right
against warrantless search which was reasonably conductedm the former should prevail

B. Requisites of a Valid Warrant

Alvarez v. CFI of Tayabas
– definition of a search warrant – an order in writing, issued in the name of the People of the Philippine Islands, signed by a judge or justice of peace and directed to a peace officer commanding him to search for personal property and bring it before court, OATH - any form of
attestation that a party signifies that he is bound by conscience to perform an act faithfully or truthfully

People v. CA
– the general rule is that search warrants must be served during the daytime (protect the public from the abrasiveness of official intrusions). Exception: a search at any reasonable hour
of day or night may be made when the application asserts that the property in on the person or place ordered to be searched. Absence of abuse of discretion, a search conducted at night where so allowed is not improper

People v. Veloso
– parliamentary club - JOHN DOE WARRANTS – Valid IF the best description possible is given in the arrest warrant – it must be sufficient to indicate clearly on whom it is to be served by stating his occupation, personal appearance or peculiarities, place of residence or other circumstances which he may be identified

Microsoft v. Maxicorp – software – probable cause – such reasons, supported by facts and circumstances as will warrant a cautious man in the belief that his action and the means taken in prosecuting it are
legally just and proper; OATH must refer to the truth of the facts WITHIN THE PERSONAL KNOLEDGE OF THE PETITIONER OR HIS WITNESSES; probable cause deals with probability and not absolute certainty

Burgos Sr. v. Chief of Staff, AFP
– Metropolitan Mail and We Forum – typographical error in specifying the address to be searched not sufficient to invalidate search warrant where the address intended appears on the face of the warrant; probable cause – such facts or circumstances which would lead a
reasonably prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched

People v. CA – Abigail’s Variety Store
– VOID warrant – the claim that the place actually searched – although not the one specified in the warrant – is exactly what they had in view when they applied for the warrant is unacceptable. What is material in determining the validity of the warrant is the place stated in the warrant, not the one they had in their thoughts; particularization of description may properly be done only by the judge and only in the warrant itself

Corro v. Lising – Philippine Times – conclusions of law of military officers will not satisfy probable cause requirement for issuance of search warrants

Soliven v. Makasiar – The judge is not required to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses. He shall: 1) personally evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by the
fiscal regarding the existence of probable cause and on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest OR 2) if on the basis thereof, he does not find probable cause, he may disregard the fiscal’s report and
require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion of the existence of probable cause

Lim Sr. v. Felix – certification by the fiscal of the existence of probable cause does not bind the judge. Preliminary inquiry – determines probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant (prosecutor);
preliminary examination (judge) - investigation for the determination of a probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest; preliminary investigation   proper – ascertains whether the offender
should be held for trial or be released.         

Yao Sr. v. People – GASUL and SHELLANE v. MASAGANA - examination of complainant and witnesses – must be probing and exhaustive not merely routinary, general, peripheral, perfunctory or pro forma; law
does not require that the thihgs to be seized should be described in very precise and minute details.

C. Warrantless Searches and Seizures

Nolasco v. Pano – articles seized by void warrants should be retuned to its owners Papa v. Mago – Customs Search – search warrant not necessary except if the place to be searched is a dwelling or house – Tariff and Customs Code

People v. CFI of Rizal – search of moving vehicle – Carroll doctrine – search of moving vehicles or automobiles – no search warrant needed

People. V. Lo Ho Wing - exception to the issuance of search warrant: 1) search incidental to a lawful arrest; 2) search of moving vehicle; 3) seizure of evidence in plain view

People v. Evaristo – evidence in plain view – Harris v. Coolidge, Coolidge v. New Hampshire – no search warrant needed; Malacat v. CA – valid waiver – must be made in writing and in the presence of
counsel; search incidental to a lawful arrest v. stop and frisk – Terry Case – probable cause is not required to conduct stop and frisk but mere suspicion or a hunch will not validate it. A genuine reason must exist.

People v. De Gracia – Eurocar Sales Office – crime was in fact being committed – search incidental to lawful arrest valid

People v. Johnson – inspection at airports – Persons may lose the protection of the search and seizure clause by exposure of their persons or property to the public in a manner reflecting lack of subjective
expectation of privacy

David v. Macapagal-Arroyo – PP 1017 case – doctrines same as the ones above (related topics: freedom of expression; freedom to peaceably assemble)

People v. Nuevas – illegal possession of marijuana - in cases of searches incidental to a lawful arrest, the arrest must precede the search; warrantless search, when valid: 1) incidental to lawful arrest; 2) evidence in plain view [a) valid prior intrusion, police are legally present in the pursuit of their
official duties, b) evidence was inadvertently discovered, c) evidence immediately apparent, d) plain view justified mere seizure with =out further search]; 3) search of moving vehicle; 4) consented warrantless search; 5) customs search; 6) stop and frisk; 7) exigent and emergency circumstances

D. Searches and seizures “of whatever nature for any purpose”

E. Warrantless Arrests

Umil v. Ramos – subversion a continuing offense - arrest without a warrant is justified if the person arrested in caught in flagrante delicto

People v. Aminudin - M/V Wilcon; marijuana – not caught in flagrante delicto; search was unreasonable; evidence inadmissible

Harvey v. Defensor-Santiago – pedophiles – the rights granted in Section 2 are available to all persons including aliens, whether accused of a crime or not People v. Mengote – suspicious man outside – a person may not be stopped and frisked in broad daylight on a bust street on a mere unexplained suspicion

Posadas v. OmbudsanSigma Rho v. Scintilla Juris – Arrest made without a valid warrant: Rule 113, Section 5 of the Rules of Court – when in the presence of a police officer or a private individual: 1) the person arrested has committed, is actually committing, or attempting to commit an offense; 2) when an offense has actually been committed, and he has personal knowledge of the facts indicating that the
person to be arrested commited it; 3) when the person arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where his is serving final or temporary judgment (pending), escaped while being transferred

Ladlad v. Velasco – imprisoned by PP 1017; rebellion/sedition – doctrine same as above and People v. De Gracia