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Shvoong Home>Law & Politics>Case Digest on Nolasco v. Cruz Paño 139 SCRA 152 (1985) Summary

Case Digest on Nolasco v. Cruz Paño 139 SCRA 152 (1985)

Book Summary   by:WritingNow360     Original Author: Supreme Court of the Philippines
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Nolasco v. Cruz Paño 139 SCRA 152 (1985)
F: Milagros Aguilar-Roque was arrested together with Cynthia Nolasco by the Constabulary Security Group. Milagrso had been wanted as a high ranking officer of the CPP. The arrest took place at 11:30 a.m. of August 6, 1984. At noon of the same day, her premises were searched and 428 documents, a portable typewriter and 2 boxes were seized. Earlier that day, Judge Cruz Paño issued a search warrant for rebellion against Milagros. On the basis of the documents seized, charges of subversion and rebellion were filed but the fiscal''s office merely charged her and Nolasco with illegal possession of subversive materials. Milagros asked for suppression of the evidence on the ground that it was illegally obtained. The search warrant described the things to be seized as "Documents, papers and other records of the CPP, NPA and NDF, xxx". HELD: The search warrant is void because it fails to describe with particularity the things to be seized. It does not specify what the subversive books and instructions are and what the manuals not otherwise available to the public contain to make them subversive. There is absent a definite guideline as to what items might lawfully be seized, thus giving the officers discretion regarding what articles they should seize. It is thus in the nature of a general warrant.
But the seizure of the articles could be justified as an incident of a valid arrest. It is a general rule that, as an incident of an arrest, the place of premises where the arrest was made can also be searched without a search warrant. Nolasco v. Cruz Pano, Reconsidered, 147 SCRA 509 (1987) Previous ruling reconsidered
F: Petitioners moved for a reconsideration of the decision, contending that Milagros Aguilar Roque was not lawfully arrested, a search warrant could not be made. HELD: Considering the positions of the parties (Sol-Gen offered no objection), the motion for partial reconsideration is granted. Teehankee, CJ., concurring: The better rule is to limit a warrantless search of a person who is lawfully arrested to his person at the time of and incident to his arrest and to "dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission of the offense." (Rule 126, Sec. 12) Since the search was not an incident of an arrest as it was in fact made under a void general warrant, the seizure of documents could not be justified as an incident of an arrest
Published: February 18, 2008   
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