People v Salvatierra; G.R. No. 104663; 24 Jul 1997

in Legal Chyme by

For the fatal stabbing of Charlie Fernandez, the Regional Trial Court of Manila, meted accused David Salvatierra for the crime of Murder the penalty of reclusion perpetua and payment of the amount of P30,183.00 as actual damages and P50,000.00 as indemnity to the heirs of the victims. Consequently, thereto, herein accused appealed his case to the Supreme Court assailing that the lower court erred in not finding that the arrest, investigation and detention of the accused-appellant for the offense charged in the instant case violate of his constitutional rights and for giving weight and credence to the vague and ambiguous testimony of the prosecution witness.

Whether or not petitioner may assail the validity of his warrant of arrest.

NO. Appellant is estopped from questioning the legality of his arrest considering that he never raised this before entering his plea. Any objection involving a warrant of arrest or the procedure in the acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of an accused must be made before he enters his plea, otherwise, the objection is deemed waived. This is the first time that appellant is raising this issue as he did not even move for the quashal of the information before the trial court on the ground of illegal arrest. Consequently, any irregularity attendant to his arrest, if any, had been cured by his voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the trial court when he entered his plea and participated during the trial. Verily, the illegal arrest of appellant is not a sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint and where the trial was free from error.

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