People v Saycon; G.R. No. 110995; 05 Sep 1994; 236 SCRA 325

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Accused, a suspected shabu “courier,” was intercepted at a checkpoint set up by a combined team of NARCOM and Coastguard personnel after receiving information that the accused will be arriving aboard a boat at that moment. He obliged to the request for him to open his bag, inside which was found a cigarette pack containing the suspected “shabu.”

Whether or not the search of the accused’s bag was illegal.

NO. Peace officers may lawfully conduct searches of moving vehicles —automobiles, trucks, etc. — without need of a warrant, it not being practicable to secure a judicial warrant before searching a vehicle, since such vehicle can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant may be sought. Not all searches and seizures are prohibited. Those which are reasonable are not forbidden. A reasonable search is not to be determined by any fixed formula but is to be resolved according to the facts of each case.

Decision of the lower court is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS.

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