People v de Guzman; G.R. Nos. 98321-24; 30 Jun 1993; 224 SCRA 93

FACTS:
Equipped with search warrants, combined Philippine Constabulary/Integrated National Police elements searched several houses on the basis of intelligence reports about the presence of armed men who were suspected to have pulled an ambush. No firearm was found but 10 suspects were picked up and later presented in a police lineup to witnesses who positively identified them. All were prosecuted for three counts of murder and one count of frustrated murder, but only appellant was found guilty.

ISSUE(S):
Whether or not appellant may assail the validity of his arrest without a warrant.

RULING:
NO. It bears emphasis that accused-appellant, together with his co-accused, pleaded not guilty upon arraignment. Appellant is, thus, estopped from questioning te legality of his arrest. Any irregularity attendant to his arrest was cured when he voluntarily submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the trial court by entering a plea of not guilty and by participating in the trial.

Appealed decision is AFFIRMED with modifications with respect to the civil indemnity to be paid to the heirs of each victim who died.

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Category: Legal Chyme

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