People v Alicando; G.R. No. 117487; 02 Dec 1995; 251 SCRA 293

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Appellant was charged with the crime of rape with homicide of a four-year old girl. He was arrested and during the interrogation, he verbally confessed his guilt without the assistance of a counsel. On the basis of his uncounseled verbal confession, the police came to know where to find the evidence to support a case against him. He pleaded guilty during the arraignment and was tried, convicted then sentenced to death.

Whether or not the evidence obtained through appellant’s uncounseled verbal confession may be admitted in evidence.

NO. These are inadmissible evidence for they were gathered as a result of the uncounseled confession illegally extracted by the police from the appellant. Once the primary source (the “tree”) is shown to have been unlawfully obtained, any secondary or derivative evidence (the “fruit”) derived from it is also inadmissible. Evidence illegally obtained by the State should not be used to gain other evidence because the originally illegally obtained evidence taints all evidence subsequently obtained.

Assailed decision convicting appellant and sentencing him to death is ANNULED and SET ASIDE, and the case remanded back to the trial court for further proceedings.

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