The group of Lt. Quijardo were sent to verify the presence of CPP/NPA members in Dagupan City.
They put under surveillance the rented apartment of Rosemarie, sister of someone whom they earlier arrested.
They interviewed Luzviminda Morados, a visitor of Rosemarie, who stated that she worked with Bernie Mendoza alias Basilio Damaso, the appellant.
Together with Morados, they reached the house of Damaso where they saw Luz Tanciangco, a helper. Tanciangco then allowed the group to enter inside the house.
The group of Lt. Quijardo entered the dwelling of Damaso without a valid warrant when the latter was absent. They requested the persons in the house to allow them to look around. In one of the rooms, they saw subversive materials which they confiscated. They likewise brought the persons found in the house to the headquarters for investigation and the persons revealed that Damaso was the lessee of the house and owned the items confiscated.
Based on this, Damaso was charged with illegal possession of firearms.
ISSUE/S: Whether the evidence obtained in the warrantless search is admissible
The Court ruled that the law enforcers failed to comply with the requirements of a valid search and seizure. None of these exceptions for a warrantless search is present in this case.
Moreover, the constitutional immunity from unreasonable searches and seizures, being personal one, cannot be waived by anyone except 1) the person whose rights are invaded or 2) one who is expressly authorized to do so on his or her behalf.
In this case, the records show that Damaso was not in his house at that time Luz, his alleged helper, allowed the authorities to enter. There was no evidence that would establish the fact that Luz was indeed Damaso’s helper or if it was true that she was his helper, that Damaso had given her authority to open his house in his absence.
Being a helper, she does not qualify as a person authorized to waive such right in representation of her employer.
Thus, the search being invalid for lack of warrant, the evidence obtained thereafter is inadmissible
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