People v Salazar; G.R. No. 99355; 11 Aug 1997; 277 SCRA 67

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Appellants were arrested without warrants after eyewitnesses implicated them as the perpetrators in a robbery with homicide incident. Trial on the merits ensued and they were convicted on the special complex crime on the weight of the eyewitnesses’ testimonies.

Whether or not the illegality of their arrest rendered the eyewitnesses’ testimony inadmissible.

NO. Granting arguendo that appellants were illegally arrested, such arrest did not invest these eyewitness accounts with constitutional infirmity as “fruits of the poisonous tree.” Considering that their conviction could be secured on the strength of the testimonial evidence given in open court which are not inadmissible in evidence, the court finds no reason to further belabor the matter.

Assailed judgment is MODIFIED. Appellants are found GUILTY of the separate crimes of homicide and theft.

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