Sunday, November 24, 2013

Why Prosecutor or Court Dismisses Cases Filed by Police


While some of my media colleagues went out of the swanky American designed Sison Auditorium in Capital Town Lingayen because of the legalese-filled lectures of Court of Appeals Justice Mario Lopez, I relished the new jurisprudences of the Supreme Court he showed and explained through a big white screen complement of a projector.
The audience were judges, prosecutors, clerks of court, lawyers, policemen, members of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine Drug Enforcement & Agency who are all based in the humongous province of Pangasinan.
The November 19 seminar dubbed as “Pagkaka-Isa Laban sa Droga” (thanks to provincial information office top honcho Butch Velasco for inviting me) was sponsored by the Philippine Judges of the Philippines and the Provincial Government of Pangasinan under the watch of Governor Amado T. Espino.
Justice Lopez said policemen should be wary of flagging motorists who beat the traffic’s red light or motorbike rider who failed to wear helmet.
According to the Supreme Court, he explained, mere infractions of ordinance on helmet and red light do not justify the police to bodily frisk or search the motorist by invoking the doctrine of warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest. Despite the confiscated illegal objects like gun or drug, he said the object could not be used in filing the case or incriminate the possessor because it is “a fruit of a poisonous tree”.
"Pag traffic violation huwag mong kapkapan kaagad, tikitan mo para ma fine mo siya," he stressed.
“May isa pang case sumisigaw iyong isang tao sa galit: “Pu _ _ _ _ Ina! Fake itong pera na ito!”
Somebody told the policeman that the person shouting had bogus money in his pocket.
Because a fake currency can be a crime (Illegal possession and use of false treasury or bank notes and other instruments of credit – Article 166, Revised Penal Code of the Philippines) against the State, the overzealous policeman wanted to arrest the person through alarm & scandal (because he disturbed the peace and tranquility of the place) so he can bodily search the person to get the dubious bill.
“Sabi ng Surpreme Court on its decision the police has no right to frisk the person.”
It means the evidence taken from him could not be used against him.
Why? The lone witness in court said  as a resident of the area, he was not alarmed and scandalized. The one who reported the “shout” in the police just learned it from the first witness. So it was hearsay.
Tsk, tsk! it was another waste of precious government resources after the police, judge, and other government personnel who were involved  tried to hear the case for years.
To the peace officers and some members of the media who love to concoct charges against their nemesis here is a case worth contemplating. You may be counter charged with criminal case of incriminatory machinations (Article 363, RPC) against innocent person and torts.
Lopez said one causes of acquittal in a grueling trial that took years is “Inconsistency of Evidence”.
 “Judges know what a minor or material consistency is,” he said.  He said judges could see minor inconsistency of the color of the dress, time, or sighting of somebody in the dark place.
“But what was unnatural was where the raiding policemen declared the weight of the pail of illegal drugs that was contradicted by different kilos in the affidavit of the personnel at the crime laboratory.”
Geez, the seminar by DAP was refreshing. I got a lot of notes on new cases presented by Justice Lopez.   They were buy bust, constructive possession, plain view doctrine, entrapment, and other contentious issue on RA 9165 (An Act Instituting the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) that I’ll be sharing once in a while in this column to prick the interest of readers.
 Son of gun, some of these malpractices by peace officers (PNP, PDEA, NBI) can be used against  you readers someday.
Remember the adage: Foretold is forewarned.

(Send comments to

No comments:

Post a Comment