Aniag v COMELEC; G.R. No. 104961; 07 Oct 1994; 237 SCRA 424

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In preparation for the scheduled synchronized elections, COMELEC issued a Gun Ban resolution. Ceding to the request of the House of Representatives Sergeant-at-Arms to return the firearms issued to him, petitioner instructed his driver to pick up the firearms from his house and to bring the same to Congress. The driver was then apprehended at a checkpoint after the policemen found the firearms in a bag in the truck of the car.

Whether or not petitioner’s driver acquiesced to the warrantless search.

NO. In the face of fourteen (14) armed policemen conducting the operation, driver Arellano being alone and a mere employee of petitioner could not have marshalled the strength and the courage to protest against the extensive search conducted in the vehicle. In such scenario, the “implied acquiescence,” if there was any, could not be more than a mere passive conformity on Arellano’s part to the search, and “consent” given under intimidating or coercive circumstances is no consent within the purview of the constitutional guaranty.

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