Authors: PSI LYRA VALERA and PSI GARRY PUASO
Date: Wednesday, 22 June 2011 04:27
Sa isang regular na pagsisiyasat, tulad ng routine inspection on PNP’s Anti-Criminality Program o implementation of “no plate, no travel” policy o “no helmet, no travel” policy, the rule is, the military/police personnel manning the checkpoint cannot compel the motorists to open the trunk or glove compartment of the car or any package therein. Such extensive search requires the existence of probable cause (PP vs Lacerna, Sept 5, 1997) or consent (Caballes vs CA, January 15, 2002).
Maaring pakiusapan ng pulis ang pasahero, halimbawa ng bus, jeep, motorsiklo o pribadong sasakyan, na buksan ang kanyang mga dalahin, halimbawa ay bag, kung siya ay kahina-hinalang kumilos o “behaving suspiciously”. Kung boluntaryo ang pagsunod ng pasahero, at dahil dito ay sumambulat sa pulis ang mga bagay na pinagbabawal ng batas, tulad ng marijuana o shabu, ito ay maaring kumpiskahin sa ilalim ng “plain view doctrine”.
Kung ayaw ng pasahero pabuksan ang trunk or compartment ng sasakyan, or ang package na dala nya, wala kang magagawa. If you have probable cause (not mere suspicion) that he is hiding an illegal item hold the vehicle and secure a search warrant.
Subalit, kailangan maging maingat ang pulis sa pagkumpiska ng naturang iligal na droga, sapagkat may mahigpit na alituntunin ang batas tungkol sa “chain of custody”* requirement.
Ang mga alituntunin na ito ay matatagpuan sa Section 21, para 1, Article II, RA No. 9165. Maaring ma-dismiss ang kaso dahil sa hindi pagsunod sa mga nasabing alituntunin ayon sa batas kung saan sinasabi :
“The apprehending office/team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, IMMEDIATELY after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof: x x x” (HANGO MULA SA DESISYON NG COURT OF APPEALS, SPECIAL TWENTY-SECOND DIVISION, SA “PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. TELIN AND MESIAS”, CA-G.R. CR No. 00738-MIN, 2 MAY 2011)
Samakatuwid, upang makasunod ng maayos sa batas, mainam na ang team ng mga pulis na matatalaga sa checkpoint ay laging may kopya ng blankong “Receipt of Property Seized”, may cellphone na may camera, at may agarang kontak sa media, sa Prosecutor, o sa mga opisyal ng barangay.
Agarang lagyan ng “markings” ang mga confiscated items. Such markings must be brought to the attention of the Court and be identified by the witness during the course of the trial to establish that the confiscated item is the same item presented in court. This is the best way to defeat a defense based on the chain of custody rule.
*”Chain of Custody means the duly recorded authorized movement and custody of the seized drugs x x x from the time of seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory to safekeeping and preservation in court for destruction. Such recorded movements and custody of the seized item shall include the identity and signature of the person who held temporary custody of the seized item, the date and time when such transfer of custody were made in the course of safekeeping and used in court as evidence, and the final disposition.” (Section 1[b] of DDB Resolution No. 1 s. 2002)
Last Updated (Wednesday, 22 June 2011 05:55)