Harvey v Santiago; G.R. No. L-82544; 28 Jun 1988; 162 SCRA 840

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Petitioners Andrew Harvey, John Sherman and Adriaa van den Elshout were among the twenty-two suspected alien pedophiles who were apprehended after three months of close surveillance by Commission on Immigration and Deportation agents. Seized during petitioners’ apprehension were rolls of photo negatives and photos of the suspected child prostitutes shown in salacious poses as well as boys and girls engaged in the sex act. There were also posters and other literature advertising the child prostitutes.

Whether or not respondent Immigration Commissioner violated petitioners’ constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures.

NO. The arrest of petitioners was based on probable cause determined after close surveillance for three (3) months during which period their activities were monitored. The existence of probable cause justified the arrest and the seizure of the photo negatives, photographs and posters without warrant. Those articles were seized as an incident to a lawful arrest and are therefore admissible in evidence.

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