People vs. CFI of Rizal, 101 SCRA 86 (1980)
The Regional Anti-Smuggling Action Center (RASAC) was informed by an undisclosed Informer that a shipment of highly dutiable goods would be transported to Manila from Angeles City on a blue Dodge car. Spurred by such lead, they stationed themselves in the vicinity of the toll gate of the North Diversion Road at Balintawak, Quezon City.
A light blue Dodge car driven by Sgt. Hope who was accompanied by Monina Medina approached the exit gate and after giving the toll receipt sped away towards Manila. The RASAC agents gave a chase and overtook Sgt. Hope's car. Agent Sabado blew his whistle and signaled Sgt. Hope to stop but the latter instead of heeding, made a U-turn back to the North Diversion Road, but he could not go through because of the buses in front of his car. At this point, the agents succeeded in blocking Sgt. Hope's car and the latter stopped.
The Agents saw four (4) boxes on the back seat of the Dodge and upon inquiry as to what those boxes were, Sgt. Hope answered "I do not know." Respondents told that they were bringing the boxes to the Tropical Hut at Epifanio de los Santos.
Arriving at the Tropical Hut, the party, together with Col. Abad who had joined them waited for the man who according to Monina Medina was supposed to receive the boxes. As the man did not appear, Col. Abad "called off the mission" and brought respondents and their car to Camp Aguinaldo.
An inspection of Sgt. Hope's car at Camp Aguinaldo yielded eleven (11) sealed boxes, four (4) on the rear seat and seven (7) more in the baggage compartment which was opened on orders of Col. Abad.
Whether or not the warrantless search and seizure conducted is lawful.
What ASAC agents did was a faithful performance of a duty authorized under the Tariff and Customs Code directing them as authorized agents to retrieve articles reasonably suspected of having been possessed, issued or procured in violation of the tariff laws for which the government has a direct interest.
The circumstances of the case at bar undoubtedly fall squarely within the privileged area where search and seizure may lawfully be effected without the need of a warrant. The facts being no less receptive to the applicability of the classic American ruling, the latter's force and effect as well as the Mago decision must be upheld and reiterated in this petition. the find that the constitutional guarantee has not been violated and the respondent court gravely erred in issuing the order of August 20, 1975 declaring as inadmissible evidence the items or articles obtained and seized by the apprehending agents without any search warrant, as well as the pictures of said items attempted to be presented as evidence against the accused.