People v Aminnudin; G.R. No. L-74869; 06 Jul 1988; 163 SCRA 402

FACTS:
Having earlier received a tip from an informer identifying the accused by name who was on board a vessel bound for Iloilo City and was carrying marijuana, the PC officers simply accosted him, inspected his bag and finding what looked like marijuana leaves took him to their headquarters for investigation. The two bundles of suspect articles were confiscated from him and later taken to the NBI laboratory for examination. When they were verified as marijuana leaves, an information for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act was filed against him and he was eventually convicted.

ISSUE(S):
Whether or not Aminnudin’s arrest and search were lawful.

RULING:
NO. It is clear that the PC had at least two days within which they could have obtained a warrant to arrest and search Aminnudin who was coming to Iloilo on the M/V Wilcon 9. His name was known. The vehicle was identified. The date of its arrival was certain. And from the information they had received, they could have persuaded a judge that there was probable cause, indeed, to justify the issuance of a warrant. Yet they did nothing. No effort was made to comply with the law. The Bill of Rights was ignored altogether because the PC lieutenant who was the head of the arresting team, had determined on his own authority that a “search warrant was not necessary.”

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Category: Legal Chyme

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