People v Rodriguez; G.R. No. 79965; 25 May 1994; 232 SCRA 498

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Pursuant to a report that somebody was selling marijuana, police officers proceeded to the location, spotted appellant and his co-accused acting suspiciously, and placed the two under arrest. A small packet containing marijuana was found inside appellant’s pocket. Only appellant was charged of violating the Dangerous Drugs Act.

Whether or not the arrest and seizure were valid.

NO. The cardinal rule is that no person may be subjected by the police to a search of his house, body or personal belonging except by virtue of a search warrant or on the occasion of a lawful arrest. There is no evidence to show that appellant was committing any crime at the time of his arrest.

Appellant’s conviction is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

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