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SCRA People v Racho

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  3/11/2019 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 626http://central.com.ph/sfsreader/session/000001696bf515334370a4f9003600fb002c009e/t/?o=False 1/14 SO ORDERED.  Brion, Bersamin, Abad  **  and Villarama, Jr., JJ  .,   concur.  Judgment and resolution affirmed with modification. Note.  —A reading of Section 28, par. (e), RA 1161, shows that it penalizes, among others, the failure or refusal of a compulsorilycovered employer from remitting compulsory contributions to theSocial Security System, and neither time nor duration of the offensecharged is a material ingredient of the offense. ( Gabionza vs. Court of Appeals , 355 SCRA 759 [2001]) ——o0o——   G.R. No. 186529. August 3, 2010.* PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs.  JACK RACHO  y RAQUERO, appellant. Criminal Procedure; Appeals; Presumption of Innocence; It is well- settled that an appeal in a criminal case opens the whole case for review— the Court is clothed with ample authority to review matters, even those not raised on appeal, if it finds them necessary in arriving at a just dispositionof the case, and every circumstance in favor of the accused shall beconsidered  .—Appellant focuses his appeal on the validity of his arrest andthe search and seizure of the sachet of  shabu  and, consequently, theadmissibility of the sachet. It is noteworthy that although the circumstancesof his arrest were briefly discussed by the RTC, the validity of the arrest andsearch and the  _______________ ** Designated as Additional Member, per Special Order No. 843 (May 17, 2010), in viewof the vacancy occasioned by the retirement of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno.* SECOND DIVISION. 634 634SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED  3/11/2019 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 626http://central.com.ph/sfsreader/session/000001696bf515334370a4f9003600fb002c009e/t/?o=False 2/14  People vs. Racho admissibility of the evidence against appellant were not squarely raised bythe latter and thus, were not ruled upon by the trial and appellate courts. It iswell-settled that an appeal in a criminal case opens the whole case for review. This Court is clothed with ample authority to review matters, eventhose not raised on appeal, if we find them necessary in arriving at a justdisposition of the case. Every circumstance in favor of the accused shall beconsidered. This is in keeping with the constitutional mandate that everyaccused shall be presumed innocent unless his guilt is proven beyondreasonable doubt. Same; Searches and Seizures; Arrests; Where the accused voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court, he is deemed to have waived his right to question the validity of his arrest, thus curing whatever defect may have attended his arrest.  —After a thorough review of the records of the case and for reasons that will be discussed below, we find that appellantcan no longer question the validity of his arrest, but the sachet of  shabu seized from him during the warrantless search is inadmissible in evidenceagainst him. The records show that appellant never objected to theirregularity of his arrest before his arraignment. In fact, this is the first timethat he raises the issue. Considering this lapse, coupled with his active participation in the trial of the case, we must abide with jurisprudence whichdictates that appellant, having voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of thetrial court, is deemed to have waived his right to question the validity of hisarrest, thus curing whatever defect may have attended his arrest. Thelegality of the arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over his person.Appellant’s warrantless arrest therefore cannot, in itself, be the basis of hisacquittal. Same; Same; Warrantless Arrests; A search and consequent seizuremust be carried out with a judicial warrant, otherwise, it becomesunreasonable and any evidence obtained therefrom shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding; What constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable warrantless search or seizure is purely a judicial question,determinable from the uniqueness of the circumstances involved, including the purpose of the search or seizure, the presence or absence of probablecause, the manner in which the search and seizure was made, the place or thing searched, and the character of the articles procured.  —The 1987Constitution states that a search and consequent seizure must be carried outwith a 635 VOL. 626, AUGUST 3, 2010635  People vs. Racho  3/11/2019 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 626http://central.com.ph/sfsreader/session/000001696bf515334370a4f9003600fb002c009e/t/?o=False 3/14  judicial warrant; otherwise, it becomes unreasonable and any evidenceobtained therefrom shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.Said proscription, however, admits of exceptions, namely: 1. Warrantlesssearch incidental to a lawful arrest; 2. Search of evidence in “plain view;” 3.Search of a moving vehicle; 4. Consented warrantless search; 5. Customssearch; 6. Stop and Frisk; and 7. Exigent and emergency circumstances.What constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable warrantless search or seizureis purely a judicial question, determinable from the uniqueness of thecircumstances involved, including the purpose of the search or seizure, the presence or absence of probable cause, the manner in which the search andseizure was made, the place or thing searched, and the character of thearticles procured. Same; Same; Same; Search Incident to Lawful Arrest; Words and  Phrases; In searches incident to a lawful arrest, the arrest must precede the search; generally, the process cannot be reversed, though a search substantially contemporaneous with an arrest can precede the arrest if the police have probable cause to make the arrest at the outset of the search; Although probable cause eludes exact and concrete definition, it ordinarily signifies a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man to believe that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged.  — Recent jurisprudence holds that in searches incident to a lawful arrest, thearrest must precede the search; generally, the process cannot be reversed. Nevertheless, a search substantially contemporaneous with an arrest can precede the arrest if the police have probable cause to make the arrest at theoutset of the search. Thus, given the factual milieu of the case, we have todetermine whether the police officers had probable cause to arrest appellant.Although probable cause eludes exact and concrete definition, it ordinarilysignifies a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstancessufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man to believe thatthe person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged. Same; Same; Same; The long standing rule in this jurisdiction is that “reliable information” alone is not sufficient to justify a warrantless arrest  —the rule requires, in addition, that the accused perform some overt act that would indicate that he has committed, is actually committing, or isattempting to commit an offense.  —What 636 636SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED  People vs. Racho  prompted the police to apprehend appellant, even without a warrant, was thetip given by the informant that appellant would arrive in Baler, Auroracarrying  shabu . This circumstance gives rise to another question: whether that information, by itself, is sufficient probable cause to effect a valid  3/11/2019 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 626http://central.com.ph/sfsreader/session/000001696bf515334370a4f9003600fb002c009e/t/?o=False 4/14 warrantless arrest. The long standing rule in this jurisdiction is that “reliableinformation” alone is not sufficient to justify a warrantless arrest. The rulerequires, in addition, that the accused perform some overt act that wouldindicate that he has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting tocommit an offense. We find no cogent reason to depart from this well-established doctrine. Same; Same; Exclusionary Rule; The legality of an arrest affects onlythe jurisdiction of the court over the person of the accused—a waiver of anillegal, warrantless arrest does not carry with it a waiver of theinadmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest  .— This is an instance of seizure of the “fruit of the poisonous tree,” hence, theconfiscated item is inadmissible in evidence consonant with Article III,Section 3(2) of the 1987 Constitution, “any evidence obtained in violationof this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.” Without the confiscated  shabu , appellant’s conviction cannot be sustained based on the remaining evidence. Thus, an acquittal iswarranted, despite the waiver of appellant of his right to question theillegality of his arrest by entering a plea and his active participation in thetrial of the case. As earlier mentioned, the legality of an arrest affects onlythe jurisdiction of the court over the person of the accused. A waiver of anillegal, warrantless arrest does not carry with it a waiver of theinadmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest. APPEAL from a decision of the Court of Appeals. The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.  Office of the Solicitor General for appellee.  Michael Anthony N. Clemente  for appellant. 637 VOL. 626, AUGUST 3, 2010637  People vs. Racho  NACHURA,   J. :On appeal is the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision 1  dated May 22,2008 in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 00425 affirming the Regional TrialCourt 2  (RTC) Joint Decision 3  dated July 8, 2004 finding appellantJack Racho  y Raquero guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Violationof Section 5, Article II of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9165.The case stemmed from the following facts:On May 19, 2003, a confidential agent of the police transactedthrough cellular phone with appellant for the purchase of  shabu.  Theagent later reported the transaction to the police authorities whoimmediately formed a team composed of member of the PhilippineDrug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Intelligence group of thePhilippine Army and the local police force to apprehend theappellant. 4  The agent gave the police appellant’s name, together with
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