People v dela Cruz; G.R. No. 83260; 18 Apr 1990; 184 SCRA 416

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After receiving a confidential report from their informant, a buy-bust operation was conducted by a team from the 13th Narcotics Regional Unit to catch the pusher/s. At the scene, it was the accused-appellant who first negotiated with the poseur-buyer. Appellant instructed his co-accused to give one aluminum foil of marijuana which the latter got from his pants’ pocket and delivered it to the buyer. After ascertaining that the authenticity of the marijuana, the agent gave signal. The two accused were arrested.

Whether or not the arrest was valid.

YES. While it is conceded that in a buy-bust operation, there is seizure of evidence from one’s person without a search warrant, needless to state a search warrant is not necessary, the search being incident to a lawful arrest. A peace officer may, without a warrant, arrest a person when, in his presence, the person to be arrested was committed, is actually committing or is attempting to commit an offense. It is a matter of judicial experience that in the arrest of violators of the Dangerous Drugs Act in a buy-bust operation, the malefactors were invariably caught red-handed.

Judgment of the lower court is AFFIRMED.

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