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People v. Kalubiran, 196 SCRA 645 (1991)
Nestor Kalubiran was arrested on 12 July 1985, in Dumaguete City, by Narcotics Command (NARCOM) elements. His arrest was the result of a "buybust" operation in which Pat. Leon Quindo acted as the buyer while the other team members lay in wait to arrest Kalubiran at the pre-arranged signal. Quindo approached the accused-appellant, who was with a group of friends in front of the Gamo Memorial Clinic, and asked if he could "score," the jargon for buying marijuana. Kalubiran immediately produced two sticks of marijuana, for which Quindo paid him a previously marked P5.00 bill. Quindo then gave the signal and Cpl. Levi Dorado approached and arrested Kalubiran. Dorado frisked the accused-appellant. He recovered the marked money and found 17 more sticks of marijuana on Kalubiran's person. The other team members, namely M/Sgt. Ranulfo Villamor and Sgt. Ruben Laddaran, came later in a jeep, where they boarded Kalubiran to take him to the police station. The 19 sticks of marijuana were marked and then taken to the PC Crime Laboratory, where they were analyzed, with positive results. Kalubiran contended however that one Quindo approached and frisk him on the same night, and found nothing on him. However, he was called back by one Villamor, who told him at gun point to board the jeep and taken to PC headquarters, then to the police station. He was released the following day with the help of a lawyer. After trial, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Dumaguete City found Kalubiran guilty as charged and sentenced him to life imprisonment plus a P20,000 fine. Kalubiran appealed.
Whether Kalubiran should be made to answer for the 19 sticks of marijuana found in his possession during his arrest.
No. Kalubiran was arrested in flagrante delicto as a result of the entrapment and so came under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, authorizing a warrantless arrest of any person actually committing a crime. The search was made as an incident of a lawful arrest and so was also lawful under Section 12 of Rule 116. In addition to the Rules, there is abundant jurisprudence justifying warrantless searches and seizures under the conditions established in the case. However, Kalubiran was accused only of selling the two sticks of marijuana under Section 4 of the Dangerous Drugs Act when he should also have been charged with possession of the 17 other sticks found on his person at the time of his arrest. It is unfortunate that he cannot be held to answer for the second offense because he has not been impleaded in a separate information for violation of Section 8 of the said law.
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