Valmonte v de Villa; G.R. No. 83988; 29 Sep 1989; 178 SCRA 211

FACTS:
The National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC) was activated on January 20, 1987 pursuant to Letter of Instruction 02/87 of the Philippine General Headquarters, AFP, with the mission of conducting security operations within its area of responsibility and peripheral areas, for the purpose of establishing an effective territorial defense, maintain peace and order, and providing an atmosphere conducive to the social, economic and political development of the National Capital Region. The NCRDC installed checkpoints in various parts of Valenzuela, Metro Manila.

ISSUE(S):
Whether or not checkpoints are illegal as they violate the people’s right against unreasonable searches and seizures.

RULING:
NO. 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 it is to be resolved according to the facts of each case. The setting up of the questioned checkpoints may be considered as a security measure to enable the NCRDC to pursue its mission of establishing effective territorial defense and maintaining peace and order for the benefit of the public. Between the inherent right of the state to protect its existence and promote public welfare and an individual’s right against a warrantless search which is however reasonably conducted, the former should prevail.

Petition is DISMISSED.

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Category: Legal Chyme

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