PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs BELEN MARIACOS
GR NO. 188611 June 16 2010
October 27, 2005 in Brgy Balbalayang, PO2 Pallayoc met with secret agent of the Barangay Intelligence Network who informed him that a baggage of marijuana had been loaded in a passenger jeepney that was about to leave for the poblacion. The agent mentioned 3 bags and 1 plastic bag. Further, the agent described a backpack bag with O.K. marking. PO2 Pallayoc boarded the said jeepney and positioned himself on top thereof. He found bricks of marijuana wrapped in newspapers. He them asked the other passengers about the owner of the bag, but no one know.
When the jeepney reached the poblacion, PO2 Pallayoc alighted together with other passengers. Unfortunately, he did not noticed who took the black backpack from atop the jeepney. He only realized a few moments later that the said bag and 3 other bags were already being carried away by two (2) women. He caught up with the women and introduced himself as a policeman. He told them that they were under arrest, but on the women got away.
ARTICLE III, SECTION 2 OF THE PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION PROVIDES: 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 the Judge after examination 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.
Purpose: MOVING VEHICLE (WARRANTLESS SEARCH)
A. This has been justified on the ground that the mobility of motor vehicles makes it possible for the vehicle to be searched to move out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought.
B. This is no way, however, gives the police officers unlimited discretion to conduct warrantless searches of automobiles in the absence of probable cause when a vehicle is stopped and subjected to an extension search, such a warrantless search has been held to be valid only as long as officers conducting the search have reasonable or probable cause to believe before the search that they will find the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to a crime, in the vehicle to be searched.
When an accused is charged with illegal possession or transportation of prohibited drugs, the ownership thereof is immaterial. Consequently, proof of ownership of the confiscated marijuana is not necessary.
Appellant’s alleged lack of knowledge does not constitute a valid defence. Lack of criminal intent and good faith are not exempting circumstances where the crime charge is malum prohibitum