A checkpoint was established to intercept a suspected transportation of marijuana from Barangay Balbalayana, San Gabriel, La Union. When it did not yield any suspect or marijuana, a surveillance operation was conducted. A police officer received information that a baggage of marijuana had been loaded on a passenger jeepney. The agent mentioned three bags and one blue plastic bag, one such bag is a backpack with an O.K. marking. The police officer boarded the jeepney and while it was in motion, he found the black backpack with an O.K. marking, peeked inside and found bricks of marijuana wrapped in newspapers. He asked the other passengers about the owner of the bag, but no one knew. When the jeepney reached the poblacion, the police officer caught up with two women, one of which was the appellant, carrying the bags and placed them under arrest. The other woman managed to get away.
Whether or not the arrest was valid.
YES. The vehicle that carried the contraband or prohibited drugs was about to leave. The searching officer had to make a quick decision and act fast. It would be unreasonable to require him to procure a warrant before conducting the search under the circumstances. Time was of the essence. The searching officer had no time to obtain a warrant. He only had enough time to board the vehicle before the same left for its destination. Given that the search was valid, appellant’s arrest based on that search is also valid.