Saluday vs. People, GR 215305, 3 April 2018
· 2009- Bus No. 66 of Davao Metro Shuttle was flagged down by Task Force Davao of the Philippine Army at a checkpoint
· A member of the Task Force, requested all male passengers to disembark from the vehicle while allowing the female passengers to remain inside. He then boarded the bus to check the presence and intercept the entry of any contraband, illegal firearms or explosives, and suspicious individuals.
· He checked all the baggage and personal effects of the passengers, but a small, gray-black pack bag on the seat at the rear of the bus caught his attention. He asked who is the owner of the bag and he requested such owner who was Marcelo G. Saluday to board the bus and open the bag. Petitioner obliged and the bag revealed the following contents: (1) an improvised .30 caliber carbine bearing serial number 64702; (2) one magazine with three live ammunitions; (3) one cacao-type hand grenade; and (4) a ten-inch hunting knife.
· SCAA Buco then asked petitioner to produce proof of his authority to carry firearms and explosives. Unable to show any, petitioner was immediately arrested and informed of his rights
· The Office of the City Prosecutor for Davao City found probable cause to charge him with illegal possession of high-powered firearm, ammunition, and explosive under PD 1866.
Whether or not the search conducted by Task Force Davao was illegal.
· Section 2, Article III of the Constitution s not a blanket prohibition. Rather, it operates against "unreasonable" searches and seizures only. Conversely, when a search is "reasonable," Section 2, Article III of the Constitution does not apply.
· The prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure ultimately stems from a person's right to privacy. Hence, only when the State intrudes into a person's expectation of privacy, which society regards as reasonable, is the Fourth Amendment triggered. Conversely, where a person does not have an expectation of privacy or one's expectation of privacy is not reasonable to society, the alleged State intrusion is not a "search" within the protection of the Fourth Amendment.
· In Fortune Express, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, The Court held that "simple precautionary measures to protect the safety of passengers, such as frisking passengers and inspecting their baggage, preferably with non-intrusive gadgets such as metal detectors, before allowing them on board could have been employed without violating the passenger's constitutional rights.”
· Concededly, a bus, a hotel and beach resort, and a shopping mall are all private property whose owners have every right to exclude anyone from entering. At the same time, however, because these private premises are accessible to the public, the State, much like the owner, can impose non-intrusive security measures and filter those going in. The only difference in the imposition of security .measures by an owner and the State is, the former emanates from the attributes of ownership under Article 429 of the Civil Code, while the latter stems from the exercise of police power for the promotion of public safety. Necessarily, a person's expectation of privacy is. diminished whenever he or she enters private premises that are accessible to the public.
· Bus No. 66 of Davao Metro Shuttle was a vehicle of public transportation where passengers have a reduced expectation of privacy.